We all enjoy a good bargain. But when it has to do with your health, be careful what you buy and keep your eye on the small details.
The names “hearing aid” and “hearing amplifier” might seem similar but they are actually entirely different devices. And making the wrong selection could have important ramifications for your hearing and your general health.
A hearing amplifier is a small device that, when placed in your ear, increases the volume of the sounds around you. These are generally very simple, one-dimensional devices which the government categorizes as personal sound amplification devices. The volume of the world is essentially cranked up.
Because of their one-size-fits-all approach, hearing amplifiers aren’t recommended for people who have moderate to extensive hearing loss.
Hearing amplifier aren’t hearing aids
Once people learn that hearing amplifiers aren’t suggested for individuals with even modest hearing loss, the differences between the two devices begin to become pretty plain. Hearing aids, obviously, are recommended for individuals with hearing loss.
Both kinds of devices are capable of raising the volume of external sound. But one of these devices has a much higher degree of amplification technology and sophistication.
- With hearing aids, only specific wavelengths of sound are boosted. That’s because people normally lose their hearing one frequency at a time. Wavelengths at the higher and lower end of the scale are commonly the first to go. Hearing aids work to fill in the holes in your hearing rather than just making everything louder. For individuals who have hearing loss, this selective approach is more effective.
- Whatever environment you find yourself, your hearing aids can tune in to it. The acoustics of any given place will change depending on a long list of variables. Some hearing aids can fine tune to these changes automatically. Others can be tuned 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 locations you want to avoid.
- Hearing aids are specifically designed to help you understand speech. Because communication is so essential in our lives and also because of the irregular way hearing loss progresses, this is an essential function. As a result, hearing aid makers have invested enormous resources into enhancing the clarity of speech above everything else. There are sophisticated algorithms and processes working inside of hearing aids to ensure that, even in a crowded and noisy space, voices come through loud and clear.
Simply put, these capabilities are crucial elements of effectively managing hearing loss. And these are qualities that are not present in most personal hearing amplifiers.
Finding the best solution at an affordable price
Along with a diminished 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 likely have it up too loud for other wavelengths….and do additional damage. And that’s not good for anyone.
Unless your hearing loss is being caused by earwax, hearing aids and certain surgeries are the only authorized treatment options for hearing loss at this time. You won’t save any money long term by neglecting to get treatment for your hearing loss. Neglected hearing loss has been shown to increase your overall healthcare costs over 40%. The good news is, there are budget friendly solutions. We can help.