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

We all love a good bargain. But when it involves your health, be careful what you purchase and pay attention to the small details.

The terms “hearing aid” and “hearing amplifier” might seem similar but they are actually completely different devices. And making the wrong choice could have important ramifications for your hearing and your overall health.

Hearing amplifiers

A small device that goes in your ear, a hearing amplifier increases the volume of external sound. These tend to be quite 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 approach, hearing amplifiers are not appropriate for individuals who have moderate to extensive hearing loss.

Clear difference between hearing aids and personal amplifiers

It begins to become fairly obvious that hearing aids aren’t the same as hearing amplification devices when you consider that amplifiers are not recommended for people with even moderate hearing loss. Hearing aids, obviously, are encouraged for individuals who suffer from hearing loss.

Both types of devices are capable of raising the volume of external sound. But one of these devices has a much higher level of amplification technology and sophistication.

  • Hearing aids are specially designed to help you hear speech. Because communication is so essential in our lives and also because of the uneven way hearing loss develops, this is an important function. So this function has been prioritized by hearing aid producers who have put significant resources into improving 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.
  • Hearing aids can be tuned to your environment. There are quite a few variables that will impact the exact acoustics of a space. Some hearing aids can adjust to these changes automatically. Others can be calibrated using a smartphone or a dedicated device. You will avoid fewer locations because you will be able to hear better in a wider variety of places as your hearing aids make little adjustments.
  • Hearing aids are made to select and boost specific frequencies of sound. That’s because people tend to lose their hearing one wavelength at a time. Wavelengths at the higher and lower end of the scale 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.

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

Finding the best solution at an affordable price

Neglected hearing loss can lead to cognitive decline, along with increasingly diminished ability to hear. With amplifiers, you’re likely to do more damage to your hearing as the device doesn’t distinguish frequencies and will most likely turn everything up to unsafe levels. And that’s not good for anyone.

Currently, the only approved treatments for hearing loss, if it’s not a result of earwax, are certain surgeries and hearing aids. Neglecting hearing loss and avoiding treatment doesn’t save you money ultimately. Untreated hearing loss has been demonstrated 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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