You’ve probably seen commercials or magazine advertisements for devices called “hearing amplifiers”, “sound amplifiers” or “voice amplifiers”. These devices can look very similar to hearing aids, and their descriptions can make them sound like hearing aids. But in this situation, the buyer must beware. Hearing amplifiers are not the same as hearing aids.
What is A Hearing Amplifier?
Hearing amplifiers are over-the-counter devices that can be purchased without a hearing evaluation or prescription. They are a one-size-fits-all device, meant to amplify all the sounds around you, not just the sound you want to hear. This device is best used recreationally, for listening to a speaker when you’re at the back of the room, or listening to bird sounds in the wild.
Some more advanced hearing amplifiers may include volume controls and noise reduction capabilities, but they are not customizable devices designed to suit the hearing needs of the individual. They are for everyone to use to generally make sounds louder, and are priced accordingly.
What is a Hearing Aid?
Hearing aids are not one-size-fits-all devices. They are Class 1 medical devices regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Hearing aids are highly customizable, so depending on your age, hearing level, type of hearing loss, activity level, lifestyle, and more, the devices can be tailored so they are an almost seamless addition to your life. They also come in different styles, sizes and even colors.
Hearing Aids Are Customized For You
Customization is the key with hearing aids, and it’s no small thing. Hearing loss isn’t the same in each person. Customizable devices mean that your hearing aids will work perfectly for you. Years of research go into making hearing aids. Each device contains a microprocessor that completes thousands of calculations every second and often self-adjusts, so no matter what environment you’re in, the device makes sure you’re hearing your best. Automatic adjustments are made when you enter a noisy room, and other adjustments are made when you enter a quiet room.
Hearing Aids Last For Years
Hearing aids are not over-the-counter, disposable devices. They are durable and long-lasting, made to last for years while working in the moist ear canal. Also, if your hearing changes, hearing aids can be adjusted to work with your new level of hearing. These devices don’t simply make everything louder. They work differently in different environments so no matter where you are, you can hear better.
Your Audiologist Is Here To Help
If you can’t hear as well as you used to — even just in certain situations such as crowds, or listening to the higher-pitched voices of your young grandchildren — don’t jump for a hearing amplifier without first speaking to an audiologist about your experience.
Hearing Amplifiers Can Damage Your Ears
Depending on the reason for your hearing loss, and how diminished your current hearing is, simply making everything louder may not help you. In fact, turning up the volume on everything with a hearing amplifier could do more damage to your hearing in the long run.
An audiologist will perform an audiogram to determine the severity of your hearing loss, and talk to you about your lifestyle. Putting these factors together, the audiologist will be able to make a recommendation on the best type of treatment for your hearing loss, whether it’s a simple amplifier or a more sophisticated hearing aid.
Choose The Right Device For YOU!
You don’t have to live with untreated hearing loss. There are devices that can help you hear better, and get you back into the conversations around you. Make an appointment with an experienced doctor of audiology and get the help you need. Life is waiting for you.