Hearing aids and hearing amplifiers are used to enhance sounds for someone who struggles with hearing loss. Although they serve a similar purpose, they possess significant differences. Understanding the differences between the two can help determine which option is best suited for your hearing loss.
When looking into hearing loss treatment options, It is common for people to choose hearing amplifiers over hearing aids. In fact, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders reported that, “less than 1 in 3 people over the age of 70 and 1 in 6 between the ages of 20 and 69 who could benefit from hearing aids have them.”
There are various reasons why people would rather buy a hearing amplifier as opposed to a hearing aid. Perhaps the biggest reason being, the difference in cost. Hearing aids are not cheap, and purchasing one can feel like a big investment. Hearing amplifiers on the other hand, are less expensive, so It would make sense that people are more enticed to buy the cheaper option. Who wouldn’t want to spend less money?
An important thing to keep in mind is hearing amplifiers do not have the same capabilities as hearing aids. Hearing aids provide personalized hearing correction based on a prescription from an audiologists. Therefore, hearing aids can identify the specific sounds you have trouble hearing and make them louder and more clear for you.
People experience hearing loss at a different degree from one another. Wearing a hearing aid allows for a fine-tuned sound dependent on their specific degree of hearing loss one is experiencing. Hearing aids are also categorized as class 1 medical devices by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They possess a range of advanced features including:
- Bluetooth capability
- Tinnitus relief
- App connectivity for the wearer and for others, such as the caregivers
- Digital noise reduction
- Artificial intelligence
- Wind noise reduction
Hearing amplifiers are not medical devices. Their main functionality is to make faraway sounds more audible. Many people make the mistake of thinking these devices can fix their hearing problems, when in fact they cannot. This is not to say hearing amplifiers aren’t beneficial. These devices can be helpful, especially for someone who has more of a slight to moderate hearing loss condition.
The bottom line is hearing amplifiers are accessible and can help with mild cases of hearing loss. But, they lack the technological advanced features that can be found in hearing aid devices. Therefore, hearing amplifiers will not be able to give you nearly as much satisfaction and relief that a hearing aid can.
If you or someone you know struggles with hearing loss, schedule an appointment with us at Lake Shore Audiology. Our audiologist will help test and provide treatment best suited towards your specific hearing loss. Contact us today at (716) 674-4188.