How’s your hearing? Are you having trouble understanding a friend or a family member?
While there’s no way to reverse some forms of hearing loss, there are ways to help you improve your hearing. The two main types of devices that can help you are hearing aids and hearing amplifiers.
Many people don’t know the difference between these two. Are you one of these people? Don’t worry, we got you covered.
Read on for the different hearing aid vs hearing amplifier differences that you should know about.
What Is a Hearing Aid?
A hearing aid is a small, complex electronic device worn in or behind the ear. Its main purpose is to amplify sound for people with hearing loss. It is important to note that a hearing aid will not restore hearing to 100%.
Some hearing aids also have extra features. Examples of these features are directional microphones and telephone switches.
Directional microphones can be helpful in noisy environments by amplifying sounds coming from in front of the person. It also reduces background noise. A telephone switch allows using a hearing aid with a telephone.
Hearing aids use either disposable batteries or a small, long-lasting rechargeable battery. Depending on the type of hearing aid, battery life can range from a few days to a couple of weeks.
Types of Hearing Aids
There are a few different types of hearing aids available on the market today. The most common type is the in-the-ear hearing aid, which sits in the outer ear.
Another type is the behind-the-ear hearing aid. This type of hearing aid fits behind the ear and has a tube that goes into the ear canal.
There are also hearing aids that fit completely in the ear canal and are not visible. All these types of hearing aids can be used for mild to moderate hearing loss.
Costs of Hearing Aids
The average cost of a hearing aid is $1,000 to $4,000 per ear. There are a few ways to help offset the cost of hearing aids. Many insurance companies offer coverage for hearing aids.
Many organizations provide financial help for hearing aids. Also, some manufacturers offer discounts for people with hearing loss. If you know where to look, you can also find hearing aids under 500 dollars.
What Are Hearing Amplifiers?
A hearing amplifier is a device used to amplify sound. They work by using a microphone to pick up sound waves. They then convert those sound waves into electrical signals.
The electrical signals are then amplified and sent to a speaker. The speaker converts the electrical signals back into sound waves, which are then amplified and sent to the ear. Some hearing amplifiers also have a volume control so that the person can adjust the level of amplification.
Hearing amplifiers can help people hear better. People with no hearing loss can also use them.
Benefits of Hearing Amplifiers Over Hearing Aids
There are many benefits of using hearing amplifiers over hearing aids. One advantage is that they are more affordable than the latter. They start at around $50 and go up to $300.
Hearing amplifiers are also easier to use because they are less likely to produce feedback. You can wear them for long periods without causing discomfort. Also, you can use hearing amplifiers in conjunction with other assistive listening devices.
You also wouldn’t need a prescription to get your hands on a hearing amplifier. This means you can buy one over-the-counter at any time.
Keep in mind though that they are not intended to be used as a hearing aid. This means that they don’t replace the need for a hearing aid if you have moderate to severe hearing loss.
Hearing Aid vs Hearing Amplifier: The Differences
If you have hearing loss, you may be wondering if you should get a hearing aid or a hearing amplifier. Below are some things to consider.
The main difference between hearing aids and hearing amplifiers is their intended use. Hearing aids focus on correcting hearing loss. Meanwhile, hearing amplifiers simply make sounds louder.
Hearing aids get regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) while hearing amplifiers are not. This means that hearing aids must meet certain standards of safety and effectiveness. This can add to their cost.
Hearing aids are custom-fit to your individual hearing needs while hearing amplifiers aren’t. Hearing aids also have features that can help you hear better in specific situations. Some of them can even help you hear in noisy environments.
If you are not sure which type of device is right for you, consult with an audiologist. They can help you determine which type of device will best meet your needs.
How to Choose Between Hearing Aids and Hearing Amplifiers
There are a few things to consider when choosing between hearing aids and hearing amplifiers. One is to consider the severity of your hearing loss.
If you have mild hearing loss, an amplifier may be all you need. Amplifiers amplify sound, while hearing aids also provide some degree of hearing assistance.
Hearing aids can amplify sound and filter out background noise. If you have moderate to severe hearing loss, a hearing aid will likely be a better option.
Another thing to consider is cost. Hearing aids are generally more expensive than amplifiers.
But, as mentioned above, they can be custom-fit to your individual hearing needs. If you have insurance, it may cover the cost of a hearing aid. Hearing amplifiers are usually not covered by insurance.
Finally, think about your lifestyle and needs. If you are active and take part in a lot of social activities, a hearing aid may be a better option. This is because it will be less likely to fall out or need adjusting.
Hearing Aid vs Hearing Amplifier: Importance of Knowing the Difference
If you are struggling with hearing loss, you may be wondering if you need a hearing aid or hearing amplifier. It is important to know the difference between the two so that you can get the best possible device for your needs.
Understanding hearing aid vs hearing amplifier differences is just the first step. When making your decision, be sure to consult with a hearing healthcare professional to find the best device for your needs.
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Wayne Probert is a senior reporter at Zobuz, covering state and national politics, and he is a grantee with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Before joining Zobuz, he worked as a freelance journalist in Kentucky, having been published by dozens of outlets including NPR, the Center for Media.