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

We all enjoy a good bargain. But you need to be careful and look out for small details in regards to your health.

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 inside of your ear, a hearing amplifier increases the volume of outside sound. These are generally really simple, one-dimensional devices which the government classifies as personal sound amplification devices. The volume of the world is essentially turned up.

These devices are generally not suggested for individuals with moderate to severe hearing loss because of their one-size-fits-all strategy.

Distinct difference between hearing aids and personal amplifiers

It begins to become pretty obvious that hearing aids are not the same as hearing amplification devices when you consider that amplifiers are not recommended for people with even moderate hearing loss. Of course, hearing aids are recommended for people with hearing loss.

Both hearing aids and hearing amplifiers make things louder. But one of these devices has a much higher degree of amplification technology and sophistication.

  • Hearing aids are specifically designed to help you process speech. Because communication is so central in our lives and also because of the irregular way hearing loss progresses, this is an essential function. So this function has been prioritized by hearing aid makers who have put considerable resources into enhancing it. There are state-of-the-art algorithms and processes working inside of hearing aids to ensure that, even in a crowded and noisy place, voices come through clearly.
  • With hearing aids, only select 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 commonly the first to go. Instead of making everything louder, hearing aids work to plug holes in what you’re hearing. For people 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 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. By making minute adjustments to the settings of your hearing aid, you’re capable of hearing better in a wider variety of settings, meaning there will be fewer locations you wish to avoid.

To put it bluntly, properly managing hearing loss depends on these capabilities. In most cases, personal amplifiers don’t have these abilities.

The best deal for your ears

Along with a diminished ability to hear, neglected hearing loss can also lead to mental decline. Because amplifiers don’t differentiate between frequencies, if you turn them up enough to hear what you’re missing, you’ll likely have it up too loud for other frequencies….and do additional damage. And who wants to do that?

Unless your hearing loss is being caused by earwax, hearing aids and some surgeries are the only authorized treatment options for hearing loss right now. Neglecting hearing loss and bypassing treatment doesn’t save you money in the long run. Untreated hearing loss has been shown to increase your overall healthcare costs more than 40 percent. Luckily, 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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