Hearing Aids for Severe and Profound Hearing Loss

Last update on Oct, 26, 2023

Did you know there are different degrees of hearing loss—ranging from mild to profound? While it can range from being a minor inconvenience to a disability, the good news is that most people with hearing loss can benefit from hearing aids.

Let's dive deeper into the topic of hearing aids for severe to profound hearing loss and address important questions you or a loved one may be asking.

What Is Severe or Profound Hearing Loss?

The hearing threshold level defines severe or profound hearing loss. A hearing threshold is the quietest level a person can detect.

Young adults have threshold levels as low as 20 dB HL.

  • An example might be a soft sound, such as a faucet dripping or a whisper.

Typical conversations in a quiet room are between 55 and 65 dB HL. A person with severe hearing loss cannot hear sounds quieter than 70 to 90 dB HL.

  • An example might be the rhythmic hum of a typical vacuum cleaner.

Someone with profound hearing loss greater than 90 dB HL may be unable to hear even louder sounds.

  • An example might be a lawnmower or chainsaw.  

How Do Hearing Aids Help?

Individuals with severe or profound hearing loss require assistance to hear properly. They're also likely aware of their hearing difficulty as they cannot engage fully in regular conversations and may be unable to detect environmental sounds, including, but not limited to:

  • Car horns
  • Turn signals
  • Doorbells
  • Smoke detectors

If you or a loved one is experiencing severe or profound hearing loss, investing in quality hearing aids may be the answer. However, you may require a larger type or style of hearing aid, such as a receiver in the canal (RIC) or behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid.

These hearing aids are placed behind the ear and provide additional assistance through a larger receiver and amplifier. Moreover, they separate the microphone from the amplifier to avoid feedback. They also use a wire or slim tube connected to a small ear mold to transmit sound from the hearing aid to the ear canal.

Which Hearing Aids Help with Profound Hearing Loss?

It's only natural to wonder about the best hearing aids for severe hearing loss.

The majority of leading manufacturers produce hearing aids that are specifically designed to cater to people with such a degree of hearing loss. However, when seeking assistance for hearing loss, it's crucial to undergo a thorough examination of your ears and a comprehensive hearing evaluation from a local hearing care provider.

With this essential information, a licensed hearing healthcare professional will review the various features and options of hearing aids appropriate for your hearing loss and make recommendations to fit your ears best and accommodate your hearing loss, lifestyle, and communication needs.

Having a trained hearing care provider and an accurate hearing aid fitting are more important than the brand of hearing aid you choose. Therefore, it's important to understand that hearing aids alone may not resolve all communication problems for those with severe hearing loss.

Other Factors to Consider



Treating Profound Hearing Loss

Hearing aids are the primary treatment option for most cases of severe to profound hearing loss.

Wearing hearing aids that are properly fitted allows you to hear and engage in conversations, perform better at work, and fully participate in their surroundings. 

For individuals with profound hearing loss, a cochlear implant, an implanted electronic hearing device, may provide benefits that a standard hearing aid cannot.

OTC Hearing Aids for Profound Loss

Over-the-counter hearing aids have recently become an option as an alternative to prescription hearing aids fit by a licensed professional.

However, it's important to note that OTC devices are only suitable for people with mild to moderate hearing loss. As a result, if you have more severe to profound hearing loss, you should avoid using these OTC devices.

Hearing aid accessories

When selecting hearing aids, it's also important to consider accessories, such as a remote microphone or TV streamer, which can make conversation more audible and reduce background noise. 

Do Hearing Aids Prevent Further Hearing Loss?

While hearing aids are crucial for improving the function of people with hearing loss, they cannot prevent further hearing loss from occurring.

Even so, regular hearing aid use has been shown to improve overall health and decrease the risk of dementia and falls with injury.

What Are My Next Steps?

Hearing loss, especially if it is severe or profound, can have a major impact on communication, relationships, and overall quality of life. If you are ready to enjoy your favorite sounds again and experience the world around you as it was meant to be, your next step should be to check your insurance benefits for hearing healthcare coverage.

At Amplifon, we make this part easy. Simply enter your information using our Check Your Benefits tool, and we'll help you from there!

We're here to answer your questions and guide you to the right solution along your hearing journey. Additionally, we'll connect you with a hearing care provider near you to receive a complete hearing evaluation and fitting to suit your hearing loss, lifestyle, and budget.

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Remember, you are not alone. Hearing loss is more common than you think, but resources are available to help you regain control of your hearing health!

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