Hearing Specialists Should Rule Out Hearing Loss Before Investing In A PSA
While hearing aids and personal sound amplifiers (or PSAs) are both considered to be wearable electronic devices intended to serve the fundamental purpose of amplifying or magnifying sounds, hearing specialists are clear in their opinions that several factors delineate and differentiate the use of one device over the other.
PSAs are regularly advertised under the premise of improving one’s enjoyment of leisure activities or special occasions by enhancing their ability to hear sounds that are at a low volume or off in the distance. Examples of these activities or occasions would include:
- Watching late-night television while other family members are sleeping
- Listening to speeches at wedding receptions or corporate functions
- Appreciating the sounds of the game/action at live sporting events
- Other outdoor undertakings such as hunting or bird watching
However, although it may be directly or indirectly implied in such advertisements, PSAs should not be used as substitutes for hearing aids for one vitally important reason – they are specifically intended for non-hearing impaired individuals while hearing aids are used to compensate for impairment clinically confirmed by hearing specialists.
Other factors that clearly distinguish hearing aids from PSAs include:
- Need confirmed via audiogram at a certified hearing centre
- Specific amplification/features based on patient need/lifestyle
- Specifically molded to fit contour/shape of wearer’s ear(s)
- Professional counseling provided by trained hearing specialists
Personal Sound Amplifiers
- Use is suggested after hearing centre test rules out impairment
- Specialists not accessible for professional fittings or consultations
- Purchased over-the-counter or online without a prescription
- Less expensive but usually have less functionality/fewer features
To some degree, PSAs could be likened to over-the-counter reading glasses that can be obtained at many pharmacies or from the vision centres located in large retail stores. In any event, it would be beneficial to rule out any hearing loss through a professional test at a Toronto hearing centre, such as Bravo Hearing Centre, before investing in a personal sound amplifier.
Determine Your Need For Hearing Aids With A Free Test
Although PSAs may ultimately be the right solution in certain circumstances, their use in the absence of a professionally-administered test at a hearing centre may actually lead to a delay in the diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss.
If you have been considering the purchase of a personal sound amplifier, or you already have a PSA and find that you are relying on the device more and more over time, there may be an underlying and unchecked concern with your hearing in general. Consultation with one of the hearing specialists at Bravo Hearing Centre, including a free hearing test, will determine your best course of action moving forward.
If it is deemed that hearing aids are the right solution for your particular situation, we will provide comprehensive services that include:
- A wide selection of makes and models
- Custom molds and fittings
- Follow-up consultations
- Adjustments and repairs
- Dispensing services (batteries, other accessories)
- Assistive listening devices
To determine whether your need for a wearable electronic device is directly related to clinical hearing loss, call the hearing specialists at Bravo Hearing Centre today at 416-207-9711 to book your free hearing test.