We all love a good bargain. But when it comes to your health, be careful what you purchase and keep your eye on the little details.
The names “hearing aid” and “hearing amplifier” might seem similar but they are actually completely different devices. And making the wrong choice could have significant ramifications for your hearing and your overall health.
What is a hearing amplifier?
A hearing amplifier is a little device that, when placed in your ear, increases the volume of the sounds around you. These tend to be quite simple, one-dimensional devices which the government categorizes as personal sound amplification devices. A hearing amplifier is like turning the volume of the world up.
These devices are usually not recommended for individuals with moderate to significant hearing loss because of their one-size-fits-all strategy.
Hearing amplifier aren’t hearing aids
It begins to become fairly apparent that hearing aids aren’t the same as hearing amplification devices when you consider that amplifiers are not recommended for people with even moderate hearing loss. Of course, hearing aids are appropriate for individuals who cope with hearing loss.
Both hearing aids and hearing amplifiers make things louder. The biggest difference between the two devices is how sophisticated that amplification is.
- With hearing aids, only particular frequencies of sound are boosted. That’s because people normally lose their hearing one wavelength at a time. Wavelengths at the higher and lower end of the spectrum are commonly the first to go. Instead of making everything louder, hearing aids work to plug holes in what you’re hearing. This selective approach is far more beneficial for people with hearing loss.
- Hearing aids are specially designed to help you hear speech. Because communication is so central in our lives and also because of the irregular way hearing loss progresses, this is an essential function. Because of this, hearing aid manufacturers have invested enormous resources into maximizing the clarity of speech above everything else. In order to make sure voices can be heard clearly even in a crowded room, state-of-the-art technology and algorithms are packed inside of modern hearing aids.
- Hearing aids can be tuned to your environment. The acoustics of any given space will change depending on a long list of variables. Some hearing aids can fine tune to these changes automatically. A dedicated device or smartphone can calibrate hearing aids that don’t do it automatically. By making minute adjustments to the settings of your hearing aid, you’re able to hear better in a wider variety of settings, meaning there will be fewer places you want to avoid.
Bottom line, these features are crucial components of effectively treating hearing loss. In most cases, personal amplifiers don’t have these features.
The best deal for your ears
Along with a diminished ability to hear, untreated hearing loss can also lead to cognitive decline. With amplifiers, you’re very likely to do more harm to your hearing as the device doesn’t distinguish frequencies and will most likely turn everything up to unsafe volumes. And that’s not good for anybody.
Unless your hearing loss is from earwax, hearing aids and some surgeries are the only authorized treatments for hearing loss right now. You won’t save any money in the long run by failing to get treatment for your hearing loss. General healthcare costs have been found to increase by more than 40% with neglected hearing loss. The good news is, there are budget friendly solutions. We can help.