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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 buy and keep your eye on the little details.

The terms “hearing aid” and “hearing amplifier” may seem similar but they are actually completely different devices. And making the wrong selection could have significant implications for your hearing and your overall health.

What is a hearing amplifier?

A small device that goes in your ear, a hearing amplifier increases the volume of outside sound. Technically classified as personal sound amplification products by the government, these devices tend to be quite basic and one-dimensional. The volume of the world is essentially cranked up.

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

Hearing amplifier aren’t hearing aids

Once people learn that hearing amplifiers aren’t suggested for people with even moderate hearing loss, the differences between the two devices begin to become rather plain. Of course, hearing aids are appropriate for people who cope with hearing loss.

Both hearing aids and hearing amplifiers have the ability to increase volumes. But one of these devices has a much higher degree of amplification technology and sophistication.

  • Hearing aids are specially manufactured to help you hear 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 substantial resources into improving 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 loud and clear.
  • Hearing aids are designed to select and magnify specific wavelengths of sound. Because hearing loss usually advances wavelength by wavelength. 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. This selective strategy is a lot more beneficial for individuals with hearing loss.
  • Whatever environment you find yourself, your hearing aids can tune in to it. The acoustics of any given space will change depending on a long list of variables. These adjustments can even be made automatically with some modern hearing aids. 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 minute adjustments.

To put it bluntly, correctly managing hearing loss depends on these features. And these are attributes that are not present in the majority of personal hearing amplifiers.

Finding the best solution at an affordable price

Along with a decreased ability to hear, neglected hearing loss can also result in mental decline. Because amplifiers don’t differentiate between frequencies, if you raise the volume enough to hear what you’re missing, you’ll likely have it up too loud for other frequencies….and do additional damage. And that isn’t good for anybody.

Currently, the only recommended treatments for hearing loss, if it isn’t caused by earwax, are some surgeries and hearing aids. Neglecting hearing loss and bypassing treatment doesn’t save you money long term. Neglected hearing loss has been demonstrated to increase your general healthcare costs more than 40 percent. The good news is, there are affordable solutions. Just ask us.

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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.