Louisville Family Audiology - Louisville, KY

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The term “cheap” has dual meanings. On the one hand, it implies affordability, a wise choice for a budget-conscious individual. But we’ve all heard the phrase “You get what you pay for”, and in this case, the word “cheap” implies low-quality hearing aids.

Regrettably, differentiating between an economical purchase and an item of minimal value is frequently challenging. This is particularly relevant in the realm of hearing aids.

With hearing aids, the axiom “you get what you pay for” rings particularly true. This means weeding out the devices that are priced in the “too good to be true” zone, not automatically going for the most expensive choice. Companies marketing cheap hearing devices frequently leave out important details about their products that customers should be aware of.

They typically just amplify sound

Amplifying the overall volume is generally the only thing cheap “hearing aids” are capable of. If you amplify the volume to hear the TV better, you’ll also pick up background noises including the dishwasher, a fan in another room, a barking dog, or the sound of your house slippers moving across the floor.

If everything is louder, it completely defeats the purpose of having a hearing aid.

Contrastingly, a high-quality, modern hearing aid goes beyond mere volume adjustment. It minimizes background noise while expertly managing sound and improving clarity. Authentic hearing aids simulate natural hearing with great accuracy and are custom programmed to your specific hearing needs.

PSAPs vs. Hearing Aids

There are stringent rules about what an advertiser can call a hearing aid as published by the Food and Drug Administration.

Sadly, there are many devices out there that are advertised as hearing aids when they’re technically personal sound amplification products (PSAPs), named this because they can only amplify sound.

There are lots of legitimate and reputable companies that comply with proper marketing. But there are some sellers, especially online, that might be misinformed about what characterizes the difference between hearing aids and PSAPs, and as a result, they put out misleading statements about their products. Some even falsely advertise that they are FDA-approved.

For most kinds of hearing loss they won’t be effective at all

Most individuals who lose their hearing will gradually lose specific frequencies of sound before others. You might have a difficult time understanding a small child or a woman, for instance, but you have no problem understanding a man with a low voice.

You get total amplification with cheap hearing aids. However, if you struggle with particular frequencies, just boosting the volume will be insufficient. And turning the overall volume up could lead to added damage to your hearing because the frequencies you don’t have trouble with will be roaring in your ears.

High-quality hearing aids offer a solution by being programmable to make up for the loss of specific frequencies. They provide a more personalized hearing experience by shifting frequencies you can’t hear very well to frequencies you hear better.

You may get a lot of feedback

Cheap hearing aids are generally not custom fit to your ears. A feedback loop is frequently the consequence of poorly fitting hearing aids. The microphone picks up the sound from the speaker in your ear as it jiggles around. What does this sound like? An ear-shattering screech.

They normally won’t help you on your cellphone

Functionality is frequently sacrificed when choosing budget options, and this is true for many inexpensive hearing aids lacking Bluetooth connectivity. The absence of Bluetooth becomes critical when considering phone connectivity. With cheaper hearing devices, when you try to amplify phone calls, your device will amplify every little sound, like your lips or ears rubbing on the phone, or clothing and hair.

More advanced hearing aids are digital and utilize Bluetooth connectivity to connect directly to your phone. This advanced feature ensures that when your daughter speaks on the other end, her voice is sent directly into your hearing aids, improving clarity and overall communication.

They were never meant to treat hearing loss

Most people would most likely be surprised by this. PSAPs were never designed for individuals with hearing loss. They were designed to amplify sound for individuals who have relatively good hearing.

If you have very slight hearing loss then cheap devices may help a little. But they won’t be of much use for people who actually need hearing aids.

Where can you get quality affordable hearing aids?

Getting affordable quality hearing aids is not difficult. Insurance or other third parties might cover them. There are also affordable brands, leasing programs, and financing possibilities. The first step is to get a hearing test if you suspect you may have hearing loss. Schedule an appointment with us so we can help you find the best and most affordable hearing aids for your degree and type of hearing loss.

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References
https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/consumer-products/hearing-aids

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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