What is the Difference Between a Hearing Aid and a Sound Amplifier?

Yes, hearing aids and sound amplifiers are very similar…but they are also entirely different! While the idea behind the two devices is very similar – to provide amplification – the purpose of each is not. While sound amplifiers may be useful for some, they are not recommended for the overwhelming majority.   

What really is the difference? Hearing aids use a complex algorithm and computer chip to amplify certain sounds based on a person’s hearing loss. These are used to increase audibility and intelligibility in everyday life. Hearing aids have the ability to reduce background noise, so you can focus on what you want to hear.  Sound amplifiers also use a computer chip, but they are programmed to amplify all environmental sounds. They were even designed to be used by people with normal hearing or possibly a slight hearing loss, just to provide an extra boost. Amplifiers can be compared to readers glasses, they may help for minor difficulties, but a prescription is better.  For people with hearing loss, sound amplifiers are not recommended.  

Because hearing aids are designed to amplify certain sounds, they are able to be programmed and fitted professionally. Sound amplifiers are pre-programmed, with just the ability to increase or decrease the volume. Because of this, sound amplifiers can potentially be harmful and further damage your hearing if the volume is kept too high.   

Untreated, or improperly treated hearing loss, can have negative effects on your social life as well as your overall health. It has been shown that properly treating hearing loss can lead to improvement in balance, memory, cognition, and overall quality of life! With hearing aids comes a hearing healthcare provider that can adjust the hearing aids to maximize benefit – for both your hearing and bang for your buck! 

Gardner Audiology in South Pasadena, Florida is currently accepting new patients! If you are interested in discussing hearing aids further, please contact Gardner Audiology in South Pasadena, Florida at 1-800-277-1182 or email info@gardneraudiology.com to schedule a consult.  

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