We all enjoy a good bargain. But when it comes to your health, be careful what you buy and pay attention to the small details.
We know, it can be confusing, the names are rather 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 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 of the world up.
These devices are typically not suggested for individuals with moderate to significant hearing loss because of their one-size-fits-all approach.
Hearing amplifier aren’t hearing aids
Once people learn that hearing amplifiers are not suggested for people with even modest hearing loss, the differences between the two devices begin to become rather stark. Of course, hearing aids are appropriate for individuals with hearing loss.
Both types of devices can raise the volume of external sound. The main difference between the two devices is how sophisticated that amplification is.
- With hearing aids, only specific wavelengths of sound are boosted. That’s because people often lose their hearing one wavelength at a time. Wavelengths at the higher and lower end of the spectrum are generally 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 beneficial for people with hearing loss.
- Hearing aids can be calibrated for your environment. The acoustics of any given space will change depending on a lengthy list of factors. Some hearing aids can adjust to these changes automatically. Others can be calibrated using 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 places you wish to avoid.
- Selecting and amplifying speech is one of the primary functions 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 important function of your hearing. So this function has been prioritized by hearing aid producers who have put significant resources into improving it. There are sophisticated algorithms and processes working within hearing aids to ensure that, even in a crowded and noisy place, voices come through clearly.
To put it bluntly, properly treating hearing loss depends on these features. Usually, personal amplifiers don’t have these features.
Finding the best solution at an affordable price
Along with a decreased ability to hear, neglected hearing loss can also lead to mental decline. Because amplifiers don’t differentiate between frequencies, if you raise the volume enough to hear what you’re missing, you’ll likely have it up too loud for other wavelengths….and damage your hearing further. And that isn’t good for anybody.
Unless your hearing loss is being caused by earwax, hearing aids and some surgeries are the only authorized treatments for hearing loss at this time. You won’t save any money in the long run by neglecting to get treatment for your hearing loss. General healthcare costs have been shown to increase by over 40% with neglected hearing loss. The good news is, there are affordable solutions. We can help.