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 names “hearing aid” and “hearing amplifier” may seem similar but they are actually entirely different devices. And making the wrong choice could have significant implications for your hearing and your general health.

Hearing amplifiers

A hearing amplifier is a small device that, when put in your ear, increases the volume of the sounds around you. These tend to be really simple, one-dimensional devices which the government categorizes as personal sound amplification devices. The volume of the world is basically cranked up.

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

Hearing amplifier aren’t hearing aids

Once consumers learn that hearing amplifiers aren’t suggested for individuals with even moderate hearing loss, the differences between the two devices begin to become pretty stark. Hearing aids, obviously, are encouraged for those who suffer from 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 designed to select and boost specific wavelengths of sound. Because hearing loss often advances wavelength by wavelength. Either high-frequency sounds or low-frequency sounds typically disappear first. 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.
  • Hearing aids are specifically designed to help you process speech. In part, that’s as a consequence of the irregular way hearing loss progresses, but it’s also because communication is such a fundamental function of your hearing. So this function has been prioritized by hearing aid producers who have put substantial resources into improving it. In order to make sure voices can be heard clearly even in a noisy room, state-of-the-art technology and algorithms are packed inside of modern hearing aids.
  • Hearing aids can be calibrated for your environment. There are quite a few variables that will affect the specific acoustics of a space. Some hearing aids can fine tune to these changes automatically. Other models can be tuned using 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 settings, meaning there will be fewer locations you wish to avoid.

To put it bluntly, correctly treating hearing loss depends on these capabilities. And these are qualities that are not present in the majority of personal hearing amplifiers.

Finding the best option at an affordable price

Untreated hearing loss can contribute to cognitive decline, along with increasingly diminished hearing abilities. Because amplifiers don’t distinguish between frequencies, if you turn them up enough to hear what you’re missing, you’ll probably have it up too loud for other frequencies….and do additional damage. And that’s not good for anybody.

Currently, the only recommended treatments for hearing loss, if it isn’t caused by earwax, are certain surgeries and hearing aids. Neglecting hearing loss and bypassing treatment doesn’t save you money long term. General healthcare costs have been found to increase by more than 40% with untreated 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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