We all love a good bargain. But when it involves your health, be careful what you purchase and pay attention to the small details.
The terms “hearing aid” and “hearing amplifier” may seem similar but they are actually very different devices. And your general hearing and health could suffer severe repercussions if you make the wrong decision about this.
What is a hearing amplifier?
A small device that goes inside of your ear, a hearing amplifier raises the volume of external sound. Technically classified as personal sound amplification products by the government, these devices tend to be fairly basic and one-dimensional. The volume of the world is essentially turned up.
Because of their one-size-fits-all approach, hearing amplifiers are not recommended for people who have moderate to significant hearing loss.
Hearing amplifier aren’t hearing aids
It begins to become fairly apparent that hearing aids are not the same as hearing amplification devices when you recognize that amplifiers are not recommended for people with even moderate hearing loss. Obviously, hearing aids are appropriate for individuals who cope with hearing loss.
Both hearing aids and hearing amplifiers have the ability to increase volumes. But one of these devices has a much higher level of amplification technology and sophistication.
- Whatever environment you find yourself, your hearing aids can calibrate to it. There are quite a few variables that will influence 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 locations because you will be able to hear better in a wider variety of places as your hearing aids make little adjustments.
- Hearing aids are designed to select and magnify certain frequencies of sound. Because hearing loss often progresses frequency by frequency. Wavelengths at the higher and lower end of the scale are usually the first to go. Instead of making everything louder, hearing aids work to plug holes in what you’re hearing. This selective strategy is a lot more beneficial for individuals with hearing loss.
- Selecting and amplifying speech is one of the primary features of a hearing aid. In part, that’s the result of the irregular way hearing loss develops, but it’s also because communication is such an essential function of your hearing. Because of this, hearing aid manufacturers have invested significant resources into enhancing the clarity of speech above all else. There are state-of-the-art algorithms and processes working within hearing aids to make sure that, even in a crowded and noisy room, voices come through loud and clear.
Simply put, these features are vital elements of properly managing hearing loss. Usually, personal amplifiers don’t have these features.
The right deal for your ears
Untreated hearing loss can bring about cognitive decline, not to mention increasingly diminished ability to hear. 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 frequencies….and damage your hearing further. And who needs to do that?
Currently, the only recommended treatments for hearing loss, if it isn’t caused by earwax, are certain surgeries and hearing aids. You won’t save any money in the long run by neglecting to get treatment for your hearing loss. Neglected hearing loss has been demonstrated to increase your overall healthcare costs more than 40 percent. The good news is, there are budget friendly solutions. Just ask us.