Who doesn’t love finding a good bargain? But when it comes to your health, be careful what you buy and keep your eye on the little details.
The terms “hearing aid” and “hearing amplifier” might seem similar but they are actually entirely different devices. And making the wrong selection could have significant implications for your hearing and your overall health.
What is a hearing amplifier?
A hearing amplifier is a small device that, when put in your ear, raises the volume of the sounds around you. Technically categorized as personal sound amplification products by the government, these devices tend to be fairly simple and one-dimensional. A hearing amplifier is like turning the volume up on the world.
These devices are typically not suggested for individuals with moderate to significant hearing loss because of their one-size-fits-all approach.
Hearing amplifier are not hearing aids
Once consumers learn that hearing amplifiers aren’t recommended for people with even moderate hearing loss, the differences between the two devices begin to become pretty stark. Hearing aids, obviously, are encouraged for those with hearing loss.
Both kinds of devices are capable of raising the volume of external sound. The biggest difference between the two devices is how cutting edge that amplification is.
- Whatever environment you find yourself, your hearing aids can tune in to it. The acoustics of any given place will change depending on a lengthy list of factors. Some hearing aids can adjust to these changes automatically. Others can be adjusted with a smartphone or a dedicated device. By making minute adjustments to the settings of your hearing aid, you’re able to hear better in a wider variety of environments, meaning there will be fewer locations you want to avoid.
- Hearing aids are designed to pick out and boost specific frequencies of sound. That’s because people often lose their hearing one wavelength at a time. Either high-frequency sounds or low-frequency sounds generally fade first. Hearing aids work to fill in the holes 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 designed to help you process speech. In part, that’s due to the uneven way hearing loss progresses, but it’s also because communication is such an essential function of your hearing. So this function has been prioritized by hearing aid manufacturers who have put considerable resources into enhancing it. In order to make sure voices can be heard clearly even in a crowded room, state-of-the-art technology and algorithms are bundled inside of modern hearing aids.
Bottom line, these features are crucial elements of correctly managing hearing loss. And these are qualities that are not present in most personal hearing amplifiers.
The best deal for your ears
Neglected hearing loss can lead to cognitive decline, along with increasingly diminished ability to hear. Because amplifiers don’t distinguish between frequencies, if you turn them up enough to hear what you’re missing, you’ll probably have it up too loud for other wavelengths….and do additional damage. And that isn’t good for anybody.
Right now, the only approved treatments for hearing loss, if it isn’t caused by earwax, are certain surgeries and hearing aids. You won’t save any money long term by neglecting to get treatment for your hearing loss. Neglected hearing loss has been demonstrated to increase your general healthcare costs more than 40 percent. Luckily, there are affordable solutions. Just ask us.