We all enjoy a good bargain. But when it has to do with your health, be careful what you buy and pay attention to the little details.
The terms “hearing aid” and “hearing amplifier” may seem similar but they are actually entirely different devices. And making the wrong choice could have significant ramifications for your hearing and your overall health.
What is a hearing amplifier?
A hearing amplifier is a little device that, when placed in your ear, increases the volume of the sounds around you. These are generally quite simple, one-dimensional devices which the government categorizes as personal sound amplification devices. A hearing amplifier is like turning the volume up on the world.
Because of their one-size-fits-all strategy, hearing amplifiers aren’t recommended for people who have moderate to extensive hearing loss.
Hearing amplifier are not hearing aids
It starts to become pretty obvious 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 recommended for people who cope with hearing loss.
Both hearing aids and hearing amplifiers make things louder. But one of these devices has a much higher degree of amplification technology and sophistication.
- With hearing aids, only specific frequencies of sound are amplified. Because hearing loss usually advances wavelength by wavelength. Frequencies at the higher and lower end of the spectrum are usually the first to go. Hearing aids work to fill in the gaps in your hearing rather than just making everything louder. This selective approach is far more effective for people with hearing loss.
- Picking out and amplifying speech is one of the primary functions of a hearing aid. Because communication is so essential in our lives and also because of the uneven way hearing loss progresses, this is an important function. Because of this, hearing aid makers have invested monumental resources into improving 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 clearly.
- Hearing aids can be calibrated for 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 calibrate 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 environments, meaning there will be fewer places you want to avoid.
Simply put, these capabilities are crucial elements of properly treating hearing loss. Usually, personal amplifiers don’t have these abilities.
The right deal for your ears
Along with a decreased ability to hear, untreated hearing loss can also result in cognitive decline. With amplifiers, you’re likely to do more harm to your hearing as the device doesn’t differentiate frequencies and will most likely turn everything up to unsafe levels. And who wants to do that?
Currently, the only recommended treatments for hearing loss, if it isn’t a result of earwax, are some surgeries and hearing aids. You won’t save any money long term by failing to get treatment for your hearing loss. Overall healthcare costs have been shown to increase by over 40% with untreated hearing loss. The good news is, there are budget friendly solutions. We can help.