There are three categories of hearing aid devices: pre-programmed hearing aids that are customized based on the user’s hearing test results, programmable hearing aids that can be adjusted by the user, and there are amplifiers.
Amplifiers and Hearing Aids
You might not be able to immediately distinguish the differences between an amplifier and a hearing aid when you first see them. Each of them are small and can rest around or inside your ears. The volume controls can be tuned to improve the hearing of the user. The technology is similar, but they are individual devices that have different functions.
The main difference between the two is that amplifiers are not approved by the FDA. In 2009, the FDA released a statement to notify consumers that amplifiers, which are also referred to as Personal Sound Amplifying Products (PSAPs), are not to be used by individuals who have any form of hearing loss. Amplifiers are to be used by those who want to increase the volume in particular environments.
If you have hearing loss and want to use a PSAP rather than hearing aids, this may actually result in more hearing loss. The volume levels of a PSAP are unlimited, therefore they can become too loud, which can cause more damage to your hearing.
In other cases, an amplifier might not be powerful enough for your degree of hearing loss. The sounds may become louder, but not to the level that you need in order to hear.
Hearing aids have much more advanced technology than amplifiers, and require programming for your individual needs. For example, if you need to increase the volume in a TV show, the amplifier can turn up the overall volume, but a hearing aid has the ability to concentrate on the dialogue in a movie. Amplifiers are typically a first step towards wearing hearing aids, due to the low-cost and the fact that people can make a direct purchase for themselves. Many companies, like Pure Sound Hearing Aids, offer hearing aids at discount prices. We have a wide variety of options that can work for you.
Programming Your Hearing Aid Devices
When you go to your hearing instrument specialist, you will have your hearing tested. Your results will show up on an audiogram, which is just like a prescription for eyeglasses. The condition of your hearing loss will be revealed, and the audiogram is used to customize your hearing aids.
You may buy generic hearing aids and program them yourself, but it’s best to let a professional hearing instrument specialist program them. They will be able to adjust the hearing aid device accordingly to suit your needs.
If you, or a loved one, are in need of getting hearing aid devices programmed, please schedule an appointment with one of our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.