Hearing aids are sophisticated devices that receive sound through their microphones, use a microchip to categorize and process sound, and produce adjusted sound that is tailored exactly to the needs of the person with hearing loss. Because of this, they need to be accurately programmed, adjusted and verified by a professional who is educated in the field of Audiology. Real hearing aids can also detect information about the environment, and through their dual microphones, are also designed to assist people to hear more speech information in difficult environments. Amplifiers also receive sound through a microphone, but since they have no tailored settings, they simply make all sounds louder. No adjustment can be made, so these can be used without the intervention of an audiologist to set them. However, hearing safety is a concern and so, if you choose to consider an amplifier, it is still a good idea to have a hearing assessment beforehand to ensure that you are not missing any important diagnosis. Also, audiologists can use real ear measurement to assess the sound coming OUT of these devices, which can help to keep you safe and not cause harmful exposure to excess sound.
As one of our Audiologists: