Who doesn’t love getting a good bargain? But you need to be careful and watch out for small details in regards to your health.
The terms “hearing aid” and “hearing amplifier” may seem similar but they are actually very different devices. And your general hearing and health could suffer major consequences if you make the wrong decision about this.
What is a hearing amplifier?
A small device that goes in your ear, a hearing amplifier increases the volume of external sound. These are generally really simple, one-dimensional devices which the government classifies as personal sound amplification devices. A hearing amplifier is like cranking the volume up on the world.
Because of their one-size-fits-all strategy, hearing amplifiers are not recommended for individuals who have moderate to extensive hearing loss.
Distinct difference between hearing aids and personal amplifiers
Once consumers learn that hearing amplifiers aren’t recommended for individuals with even moderate hearing loss, the differences between the two devices begin to become pretty stark. Of course, hearing aids are recommended for individuals 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 can be calibrated for your environment. There are a number of variables that will influence the exact acoustics of a space. Some hearing aids can fine tune to these changes automatically. A dedicated device or smartphone can calibrate hearing aids that don’t do it automatically. You will avoid fewer locations because you will be capable of hearing better in a wider variety of settings as your hearing aids make little adjustments.
- Hearing aids are specially manufactured to help you process 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 essential function of your hearing. So this function has been prioritized by hearing aid manufacturers who have put considerable resources into enhancing it. There are sophisticated algorithms and processes working within hearing aids to make sure that, even in a crowded and noisy place, voices come through clearly.
- With hearing aids, only specific wavelengths of sound are amplified. That’s because people tend to lose their hearing one wavelength at a time. Frequencies at the higher and lower end of the spectrum are generally the first to go. Instead of making everything louder, hearing aids work to plug holes in what you’re hearing. This selective approach is much more beneficial for individuals who suffer from hearing loss.
To put it bluntly, properly treating hearing loss depends on these features. And these are attributes that are not present in most personal hearing amplifiers.
The right deal for your ears
Along with a decreased ability to hear, neglected hearing loss can also result in cognitive decline. Because amplifiers don’t distinguish between frequencies, if you turn them up enough to hear what you’re missing, you’ll likely have it up too loud for other wavelengths….and do additional damage. And who needs to do that?
Right now, the only recommended treatments for hearing loss, if it’s not a result of earwax, are some surgeries and hearing aids. Neglecting hearing loss and bypassing treatment doesn’t save you money long term. Untreated hearing loss has been demonstrated to increase your general healthcare costs over 40%. The good news is, there are affordable solutions. Just ask us.