Best Hearing Aids for Severe to Profound Hearing Loss
What is Severe to Profound Hearing Loss?
Hearing loss may be the third most common medical condition in the US, but there is nothing common about how each person experiences it.
There are many different configurations of hearing loss – and one of them is the degree at which people experience it.
Approximately 70% of people who treat hearing loss with hearing aids, the degree of hearing loss falls between mild to moderate. This means that sounds between 25 and 60 decibels (dB) are difficult to hear.
Thirty-percent of people experience severe to profound degrees of hearing loss. For those who experience severe hearing loss, sounds below 60 dB are difficult. Most normal conversations fall in the 60 dB range. As such, people with severe hearing loss require more powerful amplification of speech. For those with profound hearing loss, sounds below 80dB are difficult to hear. To put this into context, the sound of a lawnmower registers at 90 dB. Speech recognition and most sounds of daily life are hindered.
A common complaint of people with severe to profound hearing loss is that they may hear sounds, but they do not understand them. Luckily, there are a number of hearing aids available to address the challenges of severe to profound hearing loss.
Treating Severe to Profound Hearing Loss
Severe to profound hearing loss is most commonly treated with high-powered hearing aids. These hearing aids are designed with many of the same features of hearing aids to treat other levels of hearing loss – with extra amplification and more powerful speech recognition features.
Hearing aids to treat severe to profound hearing loss are often worn behind-the-ear (BTE), as these hearing aids are more flexible and offer more customization and access to sounds based on the placement of the microphone.
Our Best Hearing Aids for Severe to Profound Hearing Loss
Dynamo, Sensei SP, and BTE Plus Power hearing aids are Oticon’s response to severe to profound hearing loss. BTE Plus Power hearing aids are available in Oticon models Alta 2, Nera 2, and Ria 2. Oticon has supplied these three hearing aid options with BrainHearing Technology, powered on the Inium Sense platform. These high-powered hearing aids offer higher gain and output, improved feedback control, and a more personalized listening experience. Features include enhanced speech intelligibility and wireless connectivity for improved access to sounds.
Phonak addresses severe to profound hearing loss with their model Naida V, which connects to the Roger wireless microphone for extra amplification. Naida V hearing aids are compatible with DECT phone, which allows wearers to transmit phone calls directly to their hearing aids. Naida V has been scientifically proven to enhance understanding of speech and sound against challenging background noise (when coupled with the Roger microphone, this increases to 62%). Naida V’s flexibility also allows wearers to focus on conversations with multiple speakers and capture sounds of high frequency that people with severe to profound hearing loss tend to miss.
The ENZO2 is ReSound’s power hearing aid to address severe to profound hearing loss. This “Super Power” hearing aid gives wearers enhanced amplification and feedback elimination (buzzing which occurs due to higher levels of amplification). With the same wireless technology that won the LiNX2 much praise, the ENZO2 allows wearers to connect to personal electronic devices for an added level of accessibility and intelligibility. The Spatial Sense feature gives hearing aid wearers the ability to locate themselves in their environment. ENZO 2 is available in two power levels: High Power and Super Power, and is a discreet behind-the-ear hearing aid perfect for active lifestyles.
Widex’s high-powered hearing aid is the SUPER, which improves speech recognition and helps wearers manage background noise for better sound clarity. As a water-resistant, receiver-in-the-ear hearing aid, the SUPER is designed for people who are active. Wireless connectivity further increases accessibility, with connection to smartphones and personal electronic devices. The SUPER has a long battery life and flexibility to focus on sounds, which gives wearers confidence no matter the environment.
Siemens and Signia
The new Signia Primax, which has been clinically proven to reduce listening effort, treats moderately severe hearing loss. This is the most powerful hearing aid to date from Sivantos Group, also the parent company of Siemens. The Primax assists the brain’s auditory process, with improved noise reduction, speech intelligibility, and enhanced amplification.
From Siemens, the Nitro BTE hearing aid tackles the challenges of severe to profound hearing loss. BestSound Technology, coupled with directional microphones, gives wearers improved speech recognition and a clear access to the sounds they want to hear. Additionally, Nitro BTE addresses the high and low frequency issues experienced by people with severe to profound hearing loss.
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