Evanston Audiology - Evanston, IL

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

Who doesn’t enjoy finding a good bargain? But when it has to do with your health, be careful what you buy and pay attention to the small details.

We know, it can be confusing, the names are rather similar, but hearing aids and hearing amplifiers are not identical. And your general hearing and health could suffer serious repercussions if you make the wrong decision about this.

What is a hearing amplifier?

A small device that goes inside of your ear, a hearing amplifier raises the volume of outside sound. These tend to be quite simple, one-dimensional devices which the government categorizes 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 people who have moderate to significant hearing loss.

Clear difference between hearing aids and personal amplifiers

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

Both hearing aids and hearing amplifiers make things louder. The biggest difference between the two devices is how sophisticated that amplification is.

  • Hearing aids are designed to identify and magnify specific frequencies of sound. Because hearing loss normally advances wavelength by wavelength. Either high-frequency sounds or low-frequency sounds typically fade first. Instead of making everything louder, hearing aids work to plug holes in what you’re hearing. For individuals who have hearing loss, this selective approach is more effective.
  • Whatever environment you find yourself, your hearing aids can calibrate to it. The acoustics of any given place will change depending on a lengthy list of factors. Some hearing aids can fine tune to these changes automatically. A dedicated device or smartphone can tune hearing aids that don’t do it automatically. You will avoid fewer places because you will be able to hear better in a wider variety of settings as your hearing aids make little adjustments.
  • Selecting and amplifying speech is one of the main features of a hearing aid. To some extent, that’s as a consequence of the irregular way hearing loss develops, but it’s also because communication is such an essential function of your hearing. So this function has been prioritized by hearing aid makers who have put considerable resources into enhancing it. In order to make sure voices come through clearly even in a noisy room, sophisticated technology and algorithms are packed inside of modern hearing aids.

Bottom line, these features are crucial components of effectively managing hearing loss. And these are attributes that are not present in most personal hearing amplifiers.

The right 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 that isn’t good for anyone.

Unless your hearing loss is being caused by earwax, hearing aids and certain surgeries are the only approved treatments for hearing loss right now. You won’t save any money in the long run by failing to get treatment for your hearing loss. Overall healthcare costs have been shown to increase by more than 40% with neglected hearing loss. 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.
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