Many people ask us at the hearing center if we sell sound amplifiers for 60 euros, ? like the ones sold on television ?and our response is always the same: " NO. We do not sell this type of devices "
The Spanish Agency for Medicines and Medical Devices (Agencia Española de Medicamentos y Productos Sanitarios) has received several complaints regarding the sale of amplification devices that are offered and advertised under the term "hearing aid" and that, as I will explain below, do not meet the definition of hearing aid at all.
The average age of people who need these devices is quite high and many are not able to distinguish the differences between them.
Sound amplifiers are not a medical device, they cannot be called hearing aids, and their regular use may cause damage to health.
As hearing care professionals, we fit hearing aids, which are medical devices.
In this way, we obtain the personalized adjustments that each patient needs and compensate for the patient's hearing deficiencies.
We take into account the patient's medical history, auditory anatomy, audiometry, middle ear status, functional hearing status and particular needs.
Hearing more is not hearing better
The latest generation hearing aids feature digital technology, which allows the amplifier to be dynamic, automatically adjusting to the sound levels required by the user.
This feature allows the user to distinguish speech in a noisy environment.
State-of-the-art hearing aids with digital technology
In contrast, amplifiers, such as cheap fake hearing aids, merely enhance the ambient sound and are not intended for the hearing impaired.
Sound amplifiers do not allow you to adjust different frequencies, nor do they limit the maximum output inside the ear to avoid loud sounds. These fake hearing aids do not have a health professional behind them.
Why shouldn't we buy sound amplifiers and yes, a hearing aid?
I will tell you about a real case that we had the pleasure of dealing with in our hearing center...
A customer bought one of these hearing amplifiers. He came to our office because he was looking for a way to hear well with the device.
Sound amplifiers are NOT a medical device and their regular use may cause damage to health.
This fake hearing aid was buzzing, it was coming out of his ear and he was not hearing better, on the contrary, it was amplifying some unwanted sounds?
In short, a disaster... definitely, these devices should not be purchased.
If one of these false hearing aids costs 300? and it will break in 1 year (which is already a lot), in 5 years you will have spent 1500?. With those 1500? you would have bought a programmable digital hearing aid which is a quality hearing aid and adapted by a specialist. The amplifiers are only limited to increase the ambient sound, so they are not recommended for people with hearing impairment.
False hearing aids
Below we will highlight some of the shortcomings of these false amplifier hearing aids:
- No possibility of being programmed?
- Lack hydrophobic coating?
- Is it not possible to adapt an anatomical mold?
- Don't they use gain prescription algorithms?
- No feedback canceller available?
- No directional microphones?
- They don't have standard 2cc measurements so you don't know their frequency response?
All of these features are necessary and inherent in a modern hearing aid, which is why no specialist in his or her right mind would recommend them.
If you have a hearing problem, do not hesitate to contact a qualified specialist at your trusted hearing center.
If you have a hearing problem, get in the hands of a qualified specialist at your trusted hearing center.
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