|Can you tell if this is a hearing aid or amplifier?|
"[Hearing amplifiers] are not intended to make up for impaired hearing. Instead, they are intended for non-hearing-impaired consumers to amplify sounds in the environment for a number of reasons, such as for recreational activities. [Only] hearing aids... intended to compensate for impaired hearing." [link]
|Graph 1 showing how hearing amplifier use increase|
the volume of all frequencies.
It's mainly because such amplification devices may actually cause even more hearing damage to someone who already has hearing loss.
Bluntly, using a hearing amplifier is analogous to the teenager who is playing music too loudly on his headphones leading to hearing loss.
To explain as simply as possible...
Hearing amplifiers are essentially a volume knob on a music player or television. It increases the volume of all frequencies (Graph 1).
|Graph 2 showing how a hearing aid amplifies|
only the frequencies where hearing loss is present.
SO... if a person with hearing loss only in the high-frequencies uses a hearing amplifier, the patient may eventually suffer from permanent hearing loss not just in the high-frequencies... but also in the low and mid frequencies from loud-noise trauma caused BY the hearing amplifier (Graph 3).
Use of a hearing aid would have avoided hearing damage in the low and mid frequencies because it would have amplified JUST the high-frequencies thereby preserving overall hearing health.
So what should a person with hearing loss do?
|Graph 3 showing noise induced hearing loss|
caused by a hearing amplifier.
First, makes sure it is not a reversible type of hearing loss such as that found with eustachian tube dysfunction, earwax, otosclerosis, ear fluid, etc as well as brain tumor.
Once medical causes of hearing loss are ruled-out, than discuss with your ENT or audiologist on the different types of hearing aids available. Read more about hearing aid costs here.
Different types of hearing amplifiers can be found on Amazon as shown below. These are NOT hearing aids!
However, there are high end hearing amplifiers that approach the quality (and potentially the safety) of hearing aids. Such high end hearing amplifiers include:
• Bean T-Coil
Read more about such high-end amplifiers here.
Low-End Hearing Amplifiers
High-End Hearing Amplifiers