If you are struggling with hearing loss, regardless of how minor or how severe, you will likely be looking into your options in terms of rectifying the problem. In your research, you will probably have come across two different solutions, namely hearing aids and hearing amplifiers. The question is, what is the difference between the two? Is one better than the other? What are the pros and cons of each? And, most importantly, which one is best suited to your unique circumstances and level of hearing loss. We investigate below.
What’s the Difference Between Hearing Amplifiers and Hearing Aids?
Both hearing amplifiers and hearing aids can improve your ability to hear. The major difference between them is that digital hearing aids are designed for people with hearing impairments, whereas hearing amplifiers are not.
A good way to understand this is to look at what the different devices do. Simply put, an amplifier works to boost the intensity or loudness of the sound, whereas a hearing aid works to address and improve hearing problems by solving the issue caused by the actual impairment itself. An example to demonstrate this (the Beltone HT) moves high-frequency sounds (that are inaudible due to cochlear damage) to areas of the cochlea where these sounds can be made audible.
Ultimately, hearing aids are designed for people who are hard of hearing, whereas hearing amplifiers can be used by people who have a normal hearing ability in an effort to enhance the sound levels around them.
How Do I Decide Which Device I Need?
Hearing amplifiers are generally intended for those who are not hard of hearing and who want to enjoy amplified or enhanced levels of sound (for instance, while watching television) or who want to amplify sounds in closed environments (such as restaurants and busy places).
The bottom line is that if you suspect that you are suffering from hearing loss, you will likely require a hearing aid. It is very important that you have your hearing evaluated by a professional before seeking out the right hearing aid for you.
The most commonly occurring signs of hearing loss include:
- A sensation of muffled hearing
- Difficulty understanding conversations
- Need to increase volume on TV, radio or when listening to music
- Trouble hearing in a noisy or busy environment
- Spend more time attempting to read lips
- Choosing to avoid social events
In the event that you do require a hearing aid, you will be faced with the choice of selecting one of two main types. The hearing aid that you decide to use will depend on various factors, such as:
- How extensive your hearing loss is,
- What has caused your hearing loss,
- How old you are,
- How well you can manage small devices,
- Your lifestyle, and
- Your budget.
The two main types of hearing aids include analog hearing aids and digital hearing aids. If you are looking to save money, it is good to note that most analog hearing aids are cheaper than their digital counterparts. They work by converting sound waves into electrical signals and then making them louder.
However, digital hearing aids are often of better quality. They convert sound waves into numerical codes, which are similar to computer codes, and then amplify them.
Along with different types of hearing aids, there are also different styles of hearing aids. These styles include, but are not limited to the following:
- Canal hearing aids,
- ITE (in-the-ear) hearing aids, and
- BTE (behind-the-ear) hearing aids.
A professional will be able to assist you in choosing a hearing aid that is right for you.
Go ahead and ensure that you make the right choice! We are Offering Free Hearing Screening. Make an Appointment Today