If you have recently been diagnosed with hearing loss, you may be worried about how you will afford hearing aids. Certain types of hearing aids can be expensive. Thus, a few people suffering from hearing loss may avoid seeking treatment or explore other options because they can’t afford hearing aids.
One device that individuals may turn to is a personal sound amplification product (PSAP). However, there are some critical differences between the two devices that individuals should know about before they consider the PSAPs a viable option. Below are the key differences between PSAPs and hearing aids along with key information about why hearing loss sufferers shouldn’t cut corners when it comes to purchasing an assistive device.
What are PSAPs?
PSAPs are devices that make sounds loud in certain environments. For example, they are commonly used in recreational sports and activities such as hunting or bird watching to hear prey and animals from far away. PSAPs are also used to hear conversations, movies, music and other sounds that are difficult to hear because of distance.
Some people believe that PSAPs can help those with hearing loss since they amplify sounds. However, treating auditory problems is more complicated than simply turning up the volume. For instance, a person with a normal auditory system can filter out the background and other noise and tune into specific sounds. Thus, hearing aids help to simulate this function in those with damaged hearing whereas PSAPs cannot differentiate sounds.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also stresses the shortcomings of PSAPs as a hearing aid alternative, stating that they don’t actually improve hearing in an individual but simply amplify the sounds around a person. PSAPs are not designed or meant for correcting auditory issues and are not an effective method to improve hearing which is why they are less expensive than hearing aids as well.
Why hearing aids are a better investment
Unlike PSAPs, hearing aids are designed to treat hearing loss. They do not simply make sounds loud but work to fix the problem the individual is experiencing. Though, individuals must have a hearing aid fitted and programmed by a hearing professional, which ensures that the devices are customized to correct their specific auditory needs.
Covering the cost of hearing aids
Everyone should have access to and receive the proper treatment for hearing loss. When it goes untreated, hearing loss can lead to problems with communicating with others and completing basic everyday activities. Although hearing aids can be expensive, individuals have several options to help them cover the cost of their devices. For example, if your health insurance will not cover all or part of the expense, you may be eligible for assistance programs or help from various local nonprofit organizations.
When it comes to selecting hearing aids, the expense is not the first factor that individuals should consider. Cost is an important factor in the decision-making process. However, investing in a cheaper PSAP when what you actually need is a hearing aid will actually cost more money and difficulties in the long term.