Hearing Aids vs Hearing Amplifiers. What’s The Difference?

 

Hearing amplifiers and hearing aids are similar in the technology they use, but different in that only hearing aids are used to treat hearing loss. 

If you’ve been struggling with hearing loss, the good news is that roughly 95 percent of all hearing loss can be treated with hearing devices. Unfortunately, choosing the best option can be overwhelming. 

The two most commonly discussed hearing devices, hearing aids, and hearing amplifiers, are often confused. Both are advertised to do very similar things, so what is the difference between a hearing aid and a hearing amplifier?

 

Quality Difference Between a Hearing Aid vs. Hearing Amplifier

A hearing aid is a Class 1 FDA-regulated medical device prescribed and fitted by a hearing professional. Hearing aids amplify only frequencies you can no longer hear rather than all sounds. This helps reduce damage to frequencies you can still hear and enables a higher quality hearing experience. By amplifying only critical frequencies, you'll be able to hear people talking in a meeting but still ignore irrelevant background noises. 

Hearing aids also have a lot of data that proves their effectiveness. One study showed that nine out of ten users claimed hearing aids improved their overall quality of life, and many reported they experienced less anger, paranoia, frustration, and anxiety. 

So if hearing aids help mitigate the effects of hearing loss, what are hearing amplifiers?

A hearing amplifier, also known as a personal sound amplification product (PSAP), is not a Class 1 medical device, nor is it regulated. A hearing amplifier is not designed to treat hearing loss because it amplifies all frequencies equally (rather than just the frequencies you can no longer hear). After all, noise is the leading cause of hearing loss, so by exposing yourself to louder noise, you risk further damaging the frequencies you can still hear.  

Some people with very mild hearing loss may use hearing amplifiers, though they aren't designed to replace hearing aids.

Additionally, the brand purchase will have a huge impact on the quality level as it is not FDA regulated.

 

Support difference between hearing aids and hearing amplifiers

Most hearing amplifiers offer minimal support. If the brand does provide assistance, it's usually through phone or videos and varies.

When purchasing a hearing aid, you meet with a licensed audiologist to discuss your goals and take a hearing test. The audiologist will then prescribe a personalized hearing aid based on your results and adjust it to your comfort level.

However, adjusting to a new hearing aid doesn't happen overnight. Therefore, you'll return for weekly or monthly appointments to fine-tune the hearing aid to your current comfort level.

 

Price differences in hearing aids and hearing amplifiers

Hearing amplifiers are typically thousands of dollars cheaper than hearing aids, and while it may seem like a more affordable option, it's still a waste of money if you can't hear well.

Additionally, listening to constantly amplified sound will further damage your hearing and result in more medical expenses down the road. 

Hearing loss also negatively impacts a person's ability to earn by roughly $12,000 per year. Fortunately, by using quality hearing aids, that number can be cut in half. Additionally, hearing aids usually come with financing options and may be covered by Medicaid (depending on your state).

 

Choosing the right one

In the hearing aids vs hearing amplifiers debate, audiologists will recommend only FDA approved hearing devices. 

Regardless of whether you choose to use hearing aids or hearing amplifiers, consider taking a test with a local audiologist to understand the options available to you.

In one survey of over 2,000 adults, many reported increased relationship quality, higher self-esteem, a better social life, and increased safety.

Take some time to talk with a licensed audiologist to figure out which one is right for you.

Hearing Aids vs Hearing Amplifiers. What’s The Difference?

 

Hearing amplifiers and hearing aids are similar in the technology they use, but different in that only hearing aids are used to treat hearing loss. 

If you’ve been struggling with hearing loss, the good news is that roughly 95 percent of all hearing loss can be treated with hearing devices. Unfortunately, choosing the best option can be overwhelming. 

The two most commonly discussed hearing devices, hearing aids, and hearing amplifiers, are often confused. Both are advertised to do very similar things, so what is the difference between a hearing aid and a hearing amplifier?

 

Quality Difference Between a Hearing Aid vs. Hearing Amplifier

A hearing aid is a Class 1 FDA-regulated medical device prescribed and fitted by a hearing professional. Hearing aids amplify only frequencies you can no longer hear rather than all sounds. This helps reduce damage to frequencies you can still hear and enables a higher quality hearing experience. By amplifying only critical frequencies, you'll be able to hear people talking in a meeting but still ignore irrelevant background noises. 

Hearing aids also have a lot of data that proves their effectiveness. One study showed that nine out of ten users claimed hearing aids improved their overall quality of life, and many reported they experienced less anger, paranoia, frustration, and anxiety. 

So if hearing aids help mitigate the effects of hearing loss, what are hearing amplifiers?

A hearing amplifier, also known as a personal sound amplification product (PSAP), is not a Class 1 medical device, nor is it regulated. A hearing amplifier is not designed to treat hearing loss because it amplifies all frequencies equally (rather than just the frequencies you can no longer hear). After all, noise is the leading cause of hearing loss, so by exposing yourself to louder noise, you risk further damaging the frequencies you can still hear.  

Some people with very mild hearing loss may use hearing amplifiers, though they aren't designed to replace hearing aids.

Additionally, the brand purchase will have a huge impact on the quality level as it is not FDA regulated.

 

Support difference between hearing aids and hearing amplifiers

Most hearing amplifiers offer minimal support. If the brand does provide assistance, it's usually through phone or videos and varies.

When purchasing a hearing aid, you meet with a licensed audiologist to discuss your goals and take a hearing test. The audiologist will then prescribe a personalized hearing aid based on your results and adjust it to your comfort level.

However, adjusting to a new hearing aid doesn't happen overnight. Therefore, you'll return for weekly or monthly appointments to fine-tune the hearing aid to your current comfort level.

 

Price differences in hearing aids and hearing amplifiers

Hearing amplifiers are typically thousands of dollars cheaper than hearing aids, and while it may seem like a more affordable option, it's still a waste of money if you can't hear well.

Additionally, listening to constantly amplified sound will further damage your hearing and result in more medical expenses down the road. 

Hearing loss also negatively impacts a person's ability to earn by roughly $12,000 per year. Fortunately, by using quality hearing aids, that number can be cut in half. Additionally, hearing aids usually come with financing options and may be covered by Medicaid (depending on your state).

 

Choosing the right one

In the hearing aids vs hearing amplifiers debate, audiologists will recommend only FDA approved hearing devices. 

Regardless of whether you choose to use hearing aids or hearing amplifiers, consider taking a test with a local audiologist to understand the options available to you.

In one survey of over 2,000 adults, many reported increased relationship quality, higher self-esteem, a better social life, and increased safety.

Take some time to talk with a licensed audiologist to figure out which one is right for you.

  

  

  

Do you think you might be suffering from hearing loss? Call or chat today to talk with one of our Hearing Consultants:  

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