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Hearing & Balance Doctors is currently open. We are taking special measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 including offering a curbside service for hearing aids. Please call 435-688-8991 for more information. Utah: 435-688-8991 | Nevada: 702-896-0031
Hearing & Balance Doctors is currently open. We are taking special measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 including offering a curbside service for hearing aids. Please call 435-688-8991 for more information. Utah: 435-688-8991 | Nevada: 702-896-0031

Hearing Aids Vs. Hearing Amplifiers

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To correct hearing loss, hearing aids have been the device of choice for well over a hundred years. However, there are no currently FDA-approved over-the-counter hearing aids, which means you have to work with a licensed audiologist to get the hearing aids you need. Also, even the more affordable hearing aids can be on the pricier side of things, though our doctors of audiology do their best to provide a wide range of options.

In an attempt to bridge the gap, people may try to use hearing amplifiers. These devices have their uses, but when it comes to managing hearing loss, hearing aids outdo hearing amplifiers every time.

What Is A Hearing Amplifier

So, what is a hearing amplifier? Also known as personal sound amplification devices, hearing amplifiers work like their name implies—they amplify sounds. So, how is that different from a hearing aid? We’re glad you asked.

As you can see from the images above, hearing amplifiers are visually very similar to hearing aids. Often, they look a little more outdated than the sleek pair of ReSound LiNX Quattro hearing aids that are pictured beside them. But aside from some minor visual differences, the essential difference is how hearing amplifiers work.

Hearing amplifiers capture all sounds and amplify them equally. So, not only are you having sounds you want to be amplified—such as speech, entertainment, nature sounds, etc.—but you are also bombarded with amplified sounds like the clanking of silverware while dining out, door slams, and other intrusive noises.

How Are Hearing Aids Different From Hearing Amplifiers

While hearing amplifiers are modeled on hearing aids, they lack the technology and sophistication that sets hearing aids apart.

Hearing aids—unlike personal sound amplification devices—are designed to capture sound and process the sound to determine what should be amplified. With hearing aids, background sounds like clinking cutlery would still come through, but you would hear it at a much lower level, while your hearing aids amplify the sounds of speech from your dining companions.

In this way, hearing aids can mimic your natural hearing, as we don’t recognize background sound at the same level of more important sounds. Also, another vital point is that hearing amplifiers can’t be adjusted to your hearing needs. Whether you have mild or severe hearing loss, personal sound amplification devices act the same.

On the flip side, hearing aids can be easily programmed by our doctors of audiology to be tailored to your hearing needs. Our audiologists take it a step further and use real-ear measurement, which is a test that checks for how well your hearing aids are amplifying sounds while in your ear. This test allows our doctors of audiology to more precisely adjust your hearing aids to your particular hearing requirements.

Pros And Cons Of Hearing Aids

Pros:

  • Sound differentiation and amplification between things like speech and harsh impact sounds
  • Able to custom-fit hearing aids to your ears for greater comfort
  • Programmable to suit your hearing loss needs
  • Can address multiple hearing-related issues such as tinnitus and hearing loss
  • Many styles to suit various hearing impairment and lifestyle preferences

Cons:

  • Can be expensive
  • Often not covered by insurance
  • Available currently only through audiologists and licensed professionals

Pros And Cons Of Hearing Amplifiers

Pros:

  • Cheap sound amplification
  • Helpful for those who have good hearing in quiet environments
  • Easily accessible

Cons:

  • Can make hearing loss worse
  • Are not fitted for your ears
  • Amplify all sounds equally, which isn’t necessarily good
  • Not an alternative for hearing aids (but may be marketed that way)
  • Can be flimsy, as uncontrolled entertainment products

Find Effective Hearing Aids In Southern Utah

If you are in need of hearing aids, there is one name in Southern Utah—Hearing & Balance Doctors. We have multiple locations in Southern Utah, as well as in Nevada and other areas in Utah, and our doctors of audiology are all experienced and skilled providers.

With the help of our audiologists, you can take a diagnostic hearing evaluation and find out what level of hearing impairment you may have. Then, our audiologists can work with you to sort through our hundreds of available hearing aids to find the perfect pair that fits your needs, budget, and lifestyle requirements.

Rather than try to make do with hearing amplifiers, you can work with our doctors of audiology to address your hearing loss. All you need to do to start managing your hearing loss is to contact us and set up an appointment today!

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