Picture of green piggy bank representing affordable hearing aids and a good deal.

We all enjoy a good bargain. But when it comes to your health, be careful what you purchase and keep your eye on the small details.

The names “hearing aid” and “hearing amplifier” might seem similar but they are actually very different devices. And making the wrong selection could have important implications for your hearing and your general health.

What is a hearing amplifier?

A small device that goes in your ear, a hearing amplifier raises the volume of outside sound. These are generally really simple, one-dimensional devices which the government categorizes as personal sound amplification devices. The volume of the world is basically turned up.

Because of their one-size-fits-all strategy, hearing amplifiers aren’t recommended for people who have moderate to significant hearing loss.

Hearing amplifier are not hearing aids

It begins to become fairly obvious that hearing aids aren’t 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 people with hearing loss.

Both hearing aids and hearing amplifiers have the ability to increase volumes. The main difference between the two devices is how sophisticated that amplification is.

  • Hearing aids are made to pick out and boost certain wavelengths of sound. Because hearing loss usually progresses wavelength by wavelength. Wavelengths at the higher and lower end of the scale are generally the first to go. Hearing aids work to fill in the gaps in your hearing rather than just making everything louder. For individuals who have hearing loss, this selective approach is more effective.
  • Picking out and amplifying speech is one of the main features of a hearing aid. Because communication is so essential in our lives and also because of the uneven way hearing loss develops, this is an essential function. Because of this, hearing aid makers have invested enormous resources into enhancing the clarity of speech above all 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.
  • 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 factors. Some hearing aids can fine tune to these changes automatically. Other models can be tuned with a smartphone or a dedicated device. By making small 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 wish to avoid.

Simply put, these features are crucial elements of properly treating hearing loss. And these are features that are not present in the majority of personal hearing amplifiers.

The best deal for your ears

Untreated hearing loss can bring about cognitive decline, along with increasingly diminished hearing abilities. With amplifiers, you’re likely to do more damage to your hearing because the device doesn’t differentiate frequencies and will most likely turn everything up to unsafe levels. 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 right now. Neglecting hearing loss and avoiding treatment doesn’t save you money long term. Overall healthcare costs have been found to increase by more than 40% with neglected hearing loss. The good news is, there are affordable options. We can help.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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