Who doesn’t love getting a good bargain? But when it comes to your health, be careful what you buy and pay attention to the little details.
The names “hearing aid” and “hearing amplifier” might seem similar but they are actually very different devices. And making the wrong choice could have significant ramifications for your hearing and your general health.
A small device that goes in your ear, a hearing amplifier raises the volume of external sound. Technically classified as personal sound amplification products by the government, these gadgets tend to be quite simple and one-dimensional. The volume of the world is essentially cranked up.
Because of their one-size-fits-all approach, hearing amplifiers aren’t appropriate for people who have moderate to significant hearing loss.
Hearing amplifier are not hearing aids
It starts to become pretty apparent that hearing aids aren’t the same as hearing amplification devices when you recognize that amplifiers are not recommended for people with even moderate hearing loss. Of course, hearing aids are recommended for people who cope with hearing loss.
Both types of devices can raise the volume of external sound. But one of these devices has a much higher degree of amplification technology and sophistication.
- Hearing aids can be tuned to your environment. The acoustics of any given place will change depending on a long list of variables. These adjustments can even be made automatically with some modern hearing aids. A dedicated device or smartphone can tune hearing aids that don’t do it automatically. By making small adjustments to the settings of your hearing aid, you’re capable of hearing better in a wider variety of settings, meaning there will be fewer locations you want to avoid.
- Hearing aids are designed to pick out and magnify specific frequencies of sound. Because hearing loss normally progresses frequency by frequency. Frequencies at the higher and lower end of the spectrum are generally the first to go. Instead of making everything louder, hearing aids work to plug holes in what you’re hearing. This selective strategy is far more beneficial for individuals with hearing loss.
- Hearing aids are specifically 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. So this function has been prioritized by hearing aid makers who have put substantial resources into enhancing it. There are sophisticated algorithms and processes working inside of hearing aids to ensure that, even in a crowded and noisy space, voices come through clearly.
Bottom line, these features are vital elements of effectively treating hearing loss. In most cases, personal amplifiers don’t have these abilities.
The right deal for your ears
Neglected hearing loss can bring about cognitive decline, not to mention increasingly diminished hearing abilities. Because amplifiers don’t distinguish between frequencies, if you turn them up enough to hear what you’re missing, you’ll likely have it up too loud for other frequencies….and do additional damage. And that’s not good for anyone.
Right now, the only approved treatments for hearing loss, if it’s not caused by earwax, are some surgeries and hearing aids. You won’t save any money long term by failing to get treatment for your hearing loss. Untreated hearing loss has been shown to increase your general healthcare costs over 40%. The good news is, there are budget friendly solutions. We can help.