PSAPs vs. Hearing Aids – Is the Cheaper Option Better?

After years of being in denial regarding your hearing loss, you finally faced the reality that you need to see a hearing specialist. You make an appointment with your local provider for a hearing evaluation. The visit confirms your suspicion that you are in desperate need of a hearing aid.
This news really doesn’t shock you. However, the prices of these small devices leave you speechless. There must be a cheaper alternative. Truthfully, there are several options that will cost you much less than the price of a hearing aids. But, will these devices prove to be nearly as effective in treating your hearing loss?
Personal Sound Amplification Products (PSAP) are commonly purchased as substitutes for expensive hearing aids. The price for this product can range from $20 to hundreds of dollars, only a fraction of the cost of a hearing aid. This low price makes PSAPs appealing to those who simply do not want to spend thousands of dollars on treating their hearing loss.
While PSAPs have been marketed to help amplify sounds, they are not medical devices. These devices are considered recreational tools to assist those who already have sufficient hearing. PSAPs were never intended to replace the traditional hearing aid for many reasons.
First of all, you may have to use several different PSAPs daily to have an adequate level hearing. One device is simply not suitable for every environment. The one that helped you to hear clearly in a busy restaurant may not work as well at the movies. This will result in the user having to change PSAPs multiple times daily.
Outside of the huge inconvenience of having to constantly switch devices, some PSAPs only work effectively if a microphone is placed in front of the person speaking. Can you imagine having to ask the person you are engaging with to speak into a microphone? To many, this may be considered intrusive, socially inappropriate and embarrassing.
Since PSAPs are not medical devices, they are unregulated by audiologists or hearing aid specialists. Neither are they customizable to suit the individual hearing needs of the users.
PSAPs are only a fraction of the cost of hearing aids because they follow a basic one size fits all model. With so many different hearing problems and degrees of hearing loss, these devices cannot be nearly as effective as hearing aids in treating hearing loss.
In addition, most individuals who use PSAPs are not connected with a hearing healthcare professional who will be able to perform a thorough ear exam. This may lead to additional hearing problems and complications down the road that could have possibly been avoided or treated by a specialist.
While hearing aids may be an expensive purchase for those suffering from hearing problems, purchasing these devices will be a much better investment than the alternative. If you are experiencing hearing loss, do not settle for the cheaper option. Make an appointment with us today for a complete evaluation.


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