We all enjoy a good bargain. But when it has to do with your health, be careful what you purchase and pay attention to the small details.
We know, it can be confusing, the names are very similar, but hearing aids and hearing amplifiers are not equivalent. And making the wrong choice could have important ramifications for your hearing and your overall health.
A small device that goes inside of your ear, a hearing amplifier raises the volume of outside sound. Technically categorized as personal sound amplification products by the government, these devices tend to be fairly basic and one-dimensional. A hearing amplifier is like turning the volume up on the world.
These devices are generally not recommended for individuals with moderate to severe hearing loss because of their one-size-fits-all approach.
Hearing amplifier are not hearing aids
Once people learn that hearing amplifiers are not recommended for people with even moderate hearing loss, the differences between the two devices begin to become rather stark. Hearing aids, obviously, are encouraged for people with hearing loss.
Both kinds of devices can raise the volume of external sound. But one of these devices has a much higher level of amplification technology and sophistication.
- Hearing aids are specifically manufactured to help you hear speech. To some extent, that’s as a consequence of the uneven way hearing loss progresses, but it’s also because communication is such an important function of your hearing. So this function has been prioritized by hearing aid manufacturers who have put significant resources into enhancing it. In order to make certain voices can be heard clearly even in a crowded room, advanced technology and algorithms are bundled inside of modern hearing aids.
- Hearing aids can be calibrated for your environment. The acoustics of any given space will change depending on a lengthy list of variables. Some hearing aids can adjust to these changes automatically. Others can be adjusted using a smartphone or a dedicated device. 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 select frequencies of sound are amplified. Because hearing loss usually progresses wavelength by wavelength. Wavelengths at the higher and lower end of the spectrum are generally the first to go. Hearing aids work to fill in the holes in your hearing rather than just making everything louder. This selective approach is much more effective for individuals who suffer from hearing loss.
To put it bluntly, correctly treating hearing loss depends on these capabilities. Usually, personal amplifiers don’t have these features.
The right deal for your ears
Neglected 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 do additional damage. And who needs to do that?
Right now, the only recommended treatments for hearing loss, if it isn’t a result of earwax, are certain surgeries and hearing aids. Ignoring hearing loss and avoiding treatment doesn’t save you money in the long run. General healthcare costs have been shown to increase by over 40% with untreated hearing loss. Fortunately, there are affordable solutions. Just ask us.