World of Sound Blog

Pros & Cons of Personal Sound Amplifiers

Shawn Stahmer - Monday, July 21, 2014

Personal Sound Amplifiers - The Wall Street JournalThe Wall Street Journal recently published an article Pros and Cons of Inexpensive Hearing Aids Called PSAPs by Norm Cramption. The article featured a Q&A segment with Dr. Neil DiSarno, an audiologist and chief staff officer of audiology at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in Rockville, Md.

Personal Sound Amplifiers Benefits

The article discusses the benefits and disadvantages of personal sound amplifiers such as the CS50, as well as how more people are "self-diagnosing" their hearing loss. From all of us at Sound World Solutions, we suggest talking with your audiologist before purchasing a personal sound amplifier so that you can have a professional evaluate your hearing loss.

Below is an excerpt of the article:

WSJ: And the downside?

DR. DISARNO: People are starting to self-diagnose and self-treat. Some of the marketing suggests you can do this and don't need a professional. But you wouldn't do that with a lot of other sensory deficits that you may have. However, when marketing is based on price points, people think, "If I can get this done at a much lower price than what my professional is asking, maybe I should look into it."

WSJ: What are PSAPs, and who might benefit from them?

DR. DISARNO: PSAPs are mostly off-the-shelf amplifiers for people with normal hearing who need a little boost in volume in certain settings, like listening to TV or going to a show. Hearing aids contain a much higher level of technology prescribed to treat a diagnosed hearing loss. In either case, an audiologist should make that determination.

I think some PSAPs can and should be provided by audiologists to a person who realizes he has a mild hearing deficit and wants to work with a professional who will be monitoring his progress.

WSJ: When a person with hearing loss is searching for help, is it always necessary to start with a professional?

DR. DISARNO: In my opinion, yes, whether that's your family physician or an audiologist. After taking a look in your ear, they evaluate the sensitivity of your hearing. An audiologist tests your hearing within the range of frequencies that encompass the speech signal.

The whole emphasis is, what's your hearing like now and how might that impact your ability to hear conversational speech?

Read the entire Wall Street Journal article here