We all love a good bargain. But you need to be careful and be aware of little details when it comes to your health.
The names “hearing aid” and “hearing amplifier” might seem similar but they are actually very different devices. And making the wrong choice could have important implications for your hearing and your overall health.
What is a hearing amplifier?
A little device that goes in your ear, a hearing amplifier raises the volume of external sound. These are usually very simple, one-dimensional devices which the government classifies as personal sound amplification devices. The volume of the world is basically turned up.
Because of their one-size-fits-all strategy, hearing amplifiers aren’t appropriate for people who have moderate to significant hearing loss.
Distinct difference between hearing aids and personal amplifiers
Once people learn that hearing amplifiers aren’t recommended for people with even modest hearing loss, the differences between the two devices begin to become pretty stark. Of course, hearing aids are recommended for individuals with hearing loss.
Both types of devices are capable of raising the volume of external sound. The primary difference between the two devices is how cutting edge that amplification is.
- Whatever environment you find yourself, your hearing aids can calibrate to it. The acoustics of any given space will change depending on a long list of variables. These adjustments can even happen automatically with some modern hearing aids. A dedicated device or smartphone can tune hearing aids that don’t do it automatically. You will avoid fewer locations because you will be capable of hearing better in a wider variety of settings as your hearing aids make minute adjustments.
- With hearing aids, only specific wavelengths of sound are boosted. Because hearing loss usually progresses wavelength by wavelength. Frequencies at the higher and lower end of the spectrum are commonly the first to go. Rather than making everything louder, hearing aids work to plug holes in what you’re hearing. This selective strategy is much more beneficial for individuals with hearing loss.
- Hearing aids are specifically manufactured to help you hear speech. Because communication is so essential in our lives and also because of the irregular way hearing loss develops, this is an essential function. So this function has been prioritized by hearing aid manufacturers who have put substantial resources into enhancing it. In order to make certain voices can be heard clearly even in a noisy room, state-of-the-art technology and algorithms are packed inside of modern hearing aids.
To put it bluntly, correctly treating hearing loss depends on these features. Usually, personal amplifiers don’t have these features.
The best deal for your ears
Along with a decreased ability to hear, untreated hearing loss can also result in cognitive decline. Because amplifiers don’t distinguish between frequencies, if you raise the volume enough to hear what you’re missing, you’ll probably have it up too loud for other frequencies….and damage your hearing further. And who wants to do that?
Currently, the only recommended treatments for hearing loss, if it isn’t caused by earwax, are some surgeries and hearing aids. Ignoring hearing loss and avoiding treatment doesn’t save you money ultimately. Neglected hearing loss has been shown to increase your general healthcare costs over 40%. Fortunately, there are affordable options. Just ask us.