Hearing Aids vs. Personal Sound Amplifiers: Which One Should You Be Using?

800px Hearing aid 20080620 300x225 Hearing Aids vs. Personal Sound Amplifiers: Which One Should You Be Using?Coping with hearing loss as you get older can be trying. It’s difficult to even face up to the reality of your hearing loss, and once you’ve accepted it, it can be hard to understand. You suddenly have to take in a lot of information and make a decision about how to best compensate for your hearing loss. Once you have had your hearing tested, you can talk to your doctor or audiologist for advice about devices that will help you to hear. You will have heard of hearing aids, but you might also have heard of personal sound amplifiers. But what are they, and should you buy one?

What is a Personal Sound Amplifier?

A personal sound amplifier is not the same thing as a hearing aid. People wear a personal sound amplifier in or on the ear. It amplifies sound so that you can watch TV quietly or perhaps hear children sleeping in the next room. They work by picking up noises with a microphone and amplifying the sound into your ear. They can be quite convenient for hearing noises no one would ordinarily be able to hear. Their intention is to give someone without hearing loss a kind of superpower of hearing, rather than make up for hearing loss.

What is a Hearing Aid?

A hearing aid is a medical device fitted in or on the ear that is designed to compensate for hearing loss. The technology in a hearing aid is much more advanced than in a personal sound amplifier, which is why they are more expensive. But the cost is worth it because they are specifically for hearing loss. On the other hand, compensating for hearing loss isn’t the primary purpose of a sound amplifier. When you go to an audiologist to have your hearing tested they will talk to you about your options for using a hearing aid, if you need one.

Which One Should I Use?

With the rising cost of hearing aids, many people turn to personal sound amplifiers because they are a cheap alternative. But the truth is that the FDA released guidance in 2009 stating that personal sound amplifiers are not intended for use by people with hearing loss. However, people with mild hearing loss do sometimes choose to use them. If you have more serious hearing loss, you should definitely buy a hearing aid. Talk to your audiologist about your options.

How Can I Get the Best Hearing Aids?

The reason personal sound amplifiers attract many people is that they can be bought so readily for low prices. But this won’t get you a device tailored to your needs. If you want to make sure that you get a good deal on your hearing aid, make sure you buy your hearing aid from a professional clinician, so you get the best product for the price. They will have a range of hearing aids to suit different budgets and will also take care of cleaning and maintenance free of charge.

Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia

How Do They Make Custom Fitted Hearing Aids?

If you’ve ever shopped for custom fitted hearing aids, you know there are many hearing aid options to choose from.  Depending on you or your family member’s needs, you may need an in-the-canal fit, or an in-ear fit, a behind-the-ear hearing aid, and so on… and so on… and so on!  Now that you know what configurations are out there, it’s interesting to see how these custom fitted hearing aids are made.  Many of you know how expensive hearing aids can be, but did you know what goes into making the custom fitted hearing aids?  The guys at How Its Made (a very popular YouTube channel) put together a video to answer the question; How do they make custom hearing aids?  Enjoy!

How Custom Fitted Hearing Aids Are Made

How To Clean A Hearing Aid Video

Today, The Senior List continues our focus on the hearing aid market in an effort to inform our readers, and assist the millions of folks out there with hearing loss. Odd are each and every one of you reading this post knows someone who wears a hearing aid, OR knows someone suffering from hearing loss. In the U.S. alone, 37 million people suffer from hearing loss, and that number is growing exponentially. One of the most important aspects of maintaining your hearing aid (for optimal performance) is regular cleaning.  It’s important for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the amount of debris that collects in and around your device such as ear wax, dirt, and the like.

Here’s a nice tutorial we found from Ascent Hearing Care in the UK (website temporarily unavailable).  Ascent Hearing Care is on Twitter (@AscentHearing).  In the video, a representative from Ascent Hearing discusses how to clean a hearing aid.  They describe just HOW to care for your hearing device, and WHY you should clean your hearing aid for “securing optimum performance”.

How To Clean A Hearing Aid

 If you’re interested in learning more about solutions to hearing loss, you might enjoy the following posts:

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