What's The Difference Between A Hearing Aid and a Hearing Amplifier?

Many people wonder what's the difference between a hearing aid and a hearing amplifier. 

When people start to lose their hearing, they instantly think they need a hearing aid. Although hearing aids are great devices and help millions of people each year, they are not the only option when it comes to hearing loss. Hearing amplifiers or sound amplifiers are another fantastic tool for people to consider when dealing with minor hearing loss. But how do you know which is best for you? Learn more about the difference between a hearing aid and amplifier to give yourself a better idea of what you need. 

What is a Hearing Aid?

Hearing aids are medical devices that can be custom fit or simply sit on the ear to help hearing loss. Hearing aids tend to be very expensive and are usually much more advanced than hearing amplifiers. The biggest difference between hearing aids and hearing amplifiers are the severity in which they help. Hearing aids are used in more extreme cases of hearing loss, where hearing amplifiers are used more for people with mild to moderate or slightly severe hearing loss. Hearing aids are usually prescribed by a doctor after taking a sound test.


What is a Hearing Amplifier?

As explained above, hearing amplifiers are used in much less extreme cases of hearing loss. Hearing amplifiers work by picking up noises with a microphone and amplifying the sound into your ear. They are adjustable so that you can hear quiet sounds, like hearing aids. If you have complete hearing loss, then hearing amplifiers may not be for you. Many people use hearing amplifiers because they recognize that their hearing is starting to go, and they just need a little help with simple things such as watching TV. To sum it up, hearing amplifiers were created to help with the most common hearing loss type which is high frequency hearing loss. 

Differences Between Hearing Aids and Amplifiers

One of the biggest differences between hearing aids and hearing amplifiers is that hearing aids are custom to a person’s specific hearing conditions.

Hearing amplifiers are devices you place into your ears to amplify sounds, these amplifiers make all sounds louder. This is not always a good thing. Think about trying to hear your spouse in a noisy restaurant or a baby crying behind you while you are talking on the phone. A hearing aid can actually differentiate sound you want to hear from noise. Hearing aids detect speech and enable you to hear conversations better. 

How To Choose Between a Hearing Aid and a Hearing Amplifier

If your hearing starts to get worse, you may just need something as simple as a hearing amplifier. If you expect that it is something that could be threatening, then you should see an audiologist. The doctor will give you a test to let you know what degree your hearing loss you have. He will then explain to you whether you are a good candidate for hearing aids. If your hearing is not severe then hearing amplifiers may be great for you!


Scale of Hearing Loss:

Below is a severity scale of what you might see from a hearing doctor. In the left column we have laid out what device we might suggest based on this scale.


hearing aid scale

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