What’s The Difference Between Hearing Aids And Personal Sound Amplifiers?

 

 

personal sound amplifiersWhat’s the difference between hearing aids and personal amplifiers?

You’ve probably seen low cost personal amplifiers, either in use by family or friends, or perhaps advertised on television, in magazines or online.  The price differences between personal amplifiers and hearing aids can seem substantial given they are both amplifiers!  However in making a purchasing decision it’s important to know the differences between the two.

First of all – if you have difficulties hearing you should make an appointment with your audiologist to rule out simple causes for reduced hearing (such as a build-up of wax) or more significant issues that may require urgent medical attention (such as a growth or tumour in the ear or brain).  It is important to be assessed by a qualified independent audiologist to ensure that a potentially treatable condition does not result in further hearing loss or other complications.

If hearing loss is ruled out by your audiologist, then a personal sound amplifier may be a cost effective solution for you as they are intended to amplify environmental sounds for non-hearing impaired individuals.  A personal sound amplifier is a simple, wearable device that allows you to hear low volume sounds or distant sounds.  Personal amplifiers cannot be custom-programmed and do not amplify sound to compensate for specific hearing impairments.  Therefore they are not a true substitute for a properly fitted hearing aid.

If your audiologist identifies a specific hearing loss, then a properly customised hearing aid will be the best option for you to provide the best sound quality.  A hearing aid will be fine-tuned to your specific hearing loss and your specific lifestyle needs.  It will be set to amplify specifically the sounds that you can’t hear well (rather than the sounds you can hear just fine).  In addition, it will programmed to give priority to amplifying speech rather than background noise.  The devices themselves can range in size from a tiny, completely invisible models to larger behind-the-ear model models with longer battery life and many colour and technological options.  Some can even be moulded to fit your ear perfectly!

Your audiologist will take into account your level and type of hearing loss, as well as your budget and style preferences and will be able to discuss the most appropriate option for you.

 

About Sounds of Life

Sounds of Life Audiology is a leading, independent hearing aid specialist.  We offer affordable hearing aid pricing on quality hearing aids (including virtually invisible hearing aid technology) from the world’s leading brands including Siemens, Signia, Phonak, Starkey, Unitron, Resound, Bernafon, Oticon and Sonic Innovations.

Contact Us today on 1300 744 432

 

What Are The Different Types Of Hearing Loss

types of hearing loss

 
 

What are the different types of hearing loss

 

Hearing occurs when your ears pick up a sound and translate it into information your brain can understand.  This complex process involves three different areas of the hearing mechanism: the outer ear, middle ear and inner ear.   The below video explain this process:

If any of these areas are prevented from working effectively hearing loss occurs.  In fact where the hearing loss occurs describes the type of hearing loss.  Hearing loss is grouped into two main types, depending on which system is affected – conductive and sensorineural.  A mixed hearing loss is where both types are present.

Conductive Hearing Loss

Conductive hearing loss is caused by obstructions or malfunctions in the outer and/or middle ear, impeding the mechanical transfer of sound to the inner ear. It can be caused by blockages, such as impacted ear wax, or by disorders that stop the middle ear’s ability to transfer sound, such as middle ear infections, malfunctions or damaged ear drums. This kind of damage results in lowered sound intensity (loudness) as the sound that reaches the inner ear is less intense and is at a lower volume than the original.  Identifying and treating the cause of conductive hearing loss can result in a partial or complete improvement in hearing.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by damage to the inner ear or auditory nerve and can be split into two parts. The sensory part refers to damage to the hair cells or inner ear fluids. The neural part refers to damage or degeneration of the nerves that transmit sound signals. It can be caused by exposure to loud noise, diseases such as meningitis and the aging process.  In addition to reduced sound intensity, there is an element of distortion so sounds seem unclear, even if they are loud enough.  Sensorineural hearing loss is usually considered to be permanent and irreversible.  As this kind of hearing loss does not usually respond well to medical treatment, the main goal of intervention is the use of hearing aids to provide amplification.

The below video shows the most common cause of sensorineural hearing loss:

Mixed Hearing Loss

Mixed hearing loss is a combination of the above types of hearing loss. The conductive loss may be responsive to treatment (such as clearing obstructions or treating a middle ear infection), but some degree of hearing loss is most likely to remain permanently.  Hearing aids can be beneficial once the conductive aspect has been identified and treated.

 

About Sounds of Life

Sounds of Life Audiology is a leading, independent hearing aid specialist.  We offer affordable hearing aid pricing on quality hearing aids (including virtually invisible hearing aid technology) from the world’s leading brands including Siemens, Signia, Phonak, Starkey, Unitron, Resound, Bernafon, Oticon and Sonic Innovations.

Contact Us today on 1300 744 432

 

Is Hearing Loss Impacting Your Job Performance?

job performance hearing loss

 

 

 Is hearing loss impacting your job performance?

 

 hearing loss job performanceIt’s no secret that untreated hearing loss can lead to a decreased quality of life.  However, untreated hearing loss can also negatively impact job performance and potential earnings.

Untreated hearing loss can limit a person’s ability to communicate with colleagues effectively; in person, on the phone or in meetings. With Australians now retiring later than ever, hearing loss in the workplace will become more common in the coming decades.

A 2013 study by the Better Hearing Institute in the United States discovered that leaving hearing loss untreated can have a significant financial impact with people potentially losing as much as $30,000 USD annually.

 

Fortunately, hearing loss is manageable and hearing aids can positively impact job performance.  In fact in the above study researchers found that people with severe hearing loss using hearing aids were twice as likely to be employed as those who did not use them.  In addition, the study found that the use of hearing aids reduced the risk of income loss significantly; by up to 100% for people with mild hearing loss, and from 65 to 77% for people with moderate to severe loss.

 

About Sounds of Life

Sounds of Life Audiology is a leading, independent hearing aid specialist.  We offer affordable hearing aid pricing on quality hearing aids (including virtually invisible hearing aid technology) from the world’s leading brands including Siemens, Signia, Phonak, Starkey, Unitron, Resound, Bernafon, Oticon and Sonic Innovations.

Contact Us today on 1300 744 432