Picture of green piggy bank representing affordable hearing aids and a good deal.

Who doesn’t love getting a good bargain? But you should be careful and look out for little details when it comes to your health.

The names “hearing aid” and “hearing amplifier” might seem similar but they are actually completely different devices. And making the wrong choice could have important implications for your hearing and your general health.

What is a hearing amplifier?

A small device that goes in your ear, a hearing amplifier increases the volume of external sound. These are usually really simple, one-dimensional devices which the government classifies as personal sound amplification devices. The volume of the world is essentially cranked up.

These devices are typically not recommended for individuals with moderate to severe hearing loss because of their one-size-fits-all approach.

Clear difference between hearing aids and personal amplifiers

Once people learn that hearing amplifiers aren’t suggested for individuals with even moderate hearing loss, the differences between the two devices start to become rather stark. Hearing aids, obviously, are recommended for those with hearing loss.

Both types of devices are capable of raising the volume of outside sound. But one of these devices has a much higher degree of amplification technology and sophistication.

  • Hearing aids are designed to identify and magnify specific frequencies of sound. That’s because people normally lose their hearing one frequency at a time. Either high-frequency sounds or low-frequency sounds generally fade first. Hearing aids work to fill in the gaps in your hearing rather than just making everything louder. For individuals who have hearing loss, this selective approach is more effective.
  • Hearing aids are specially manufactured to help you understand speech. In part, that’s the result of the uneven way hearing loss progresses, but it’s also because communication is such a fundamental function of your hearing. So this function has been prioritized by hearing aid makers who have put substantial resources into improving it. In order to make sure voices can be heard clearly even in a noisy room, advanced technology and algorithms are bundled inside of modern hearing aids.
  • Hearing aids can be calibrated for your environment. There are quite a few factors that will affect the exact acoustics of a space. Some hearing aids can fine tune to these changes automatically. A dedicated device or smartphone can tune hearing aids that don’t do it automatically. You will avoid fewer places because you will be capable of hearing better in a wider variety of settings as your hearing aids make little adjustments.

To put it bluntly, correctly managing hearing loss depends on these capabilities. Usually, personal amplifiers don’t have these features.

Finding the best solution at an affordable price

Neglected hearing loss can cause cognitive decline, along with increasingly diminished hearing abilities. Because amplifiers don’t differentiate between frequencies, if you raise the volume enough to hear what you’re missing, you’ll probably have it up too loud for other wavelengths….and damage your hearing further. And who needs to do that?

Unless your hearing loss is being caused by earwax, hearing aids and certain surgeries are the only approved 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. Overall healthcare costs have been shown to increase by over 40% with untreated hearing loss. Luckily, there are affordable options. We can help.

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References

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hearing-loss/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20373077

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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