There are three main types of hearing devices in the U.S. – prescription hearing aids, over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids, and personal sound amplification products (PSAPs). In short, all three can amplify sound, but there are pros and cons to each, and only the first two are specifically for people with hearing loss and allow for improving hearing of specific ranges of frequencies.
Note that people with severe hearing loss who can neither hear nor discern conversation, as well as children and people who are cognitively impaired, should only consider prescription hearing aids. Also, it is best to be checked by a medical doctor before you decide on which type of hearing device to purchase, in order to rule out simple fixes (like earwax) or underlying medical issues that can be addressed, particularly if your hearing loss has come on recently, you’re having pain in your ear, hear ringing or buzzing, or you’re experiencing vertigo.
Sign in as a member for details about these three types of hearing devices, including the pros and cons of each (including cost). Also, find out how self-fitted OTC hearing aids (such as Lexie Lumen) compare to those fitted by an audiologist, and learn how PSAPs (such as Sound World Solutions CS50+, Soundhawk, Etymotic BEAN, Tweak Focus, and MSA 30X Sound Amplifier) compare to a prescription hearing device.