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What is Profound Hearing Loss?

Did you know that when it comes to hearing loss, no two ears are alike? That’s right, your hearing is as unique as your fingerprint. Some people will be able to hear speech more clearly, while others will struggle. Some will be able to participate in conversations in noisy environments, while others find it extra difficult. Your ability to hear sounds depends on your degree of hearing loss.

Profound hearing loss specifically means you can’t hear or understand speech at normal levels and will usually only be able to hear very loud sounds, such as construction equipment or jet engines.

Stats on profound hearing loss

Profound hearing loss already affects about 400,000 people in the U.S. By 2050, it’s estimated that a staggering 700 million people around the world will be impacted by disabling hearing loss.
It’s important to treat hearing loss as soon as it begins. Left untreated, hearing loss can get worse overtime, making it more difficult to treat.

Degrees of hearing loss

As we mentioned above, your ability to hear sound — which is measured in decibels (dB) — is based on your degree of hearing loss. This table* shows the degrees of hearing loss and the corresponding levels at which someone is able and unable to hear. For example, someone with mild hearing loss can’t hear sounds very well under 25-40 dB, and those with profound loss can’t hear sounds clearly under 90 dB.

To help put it into perspective, a whisper measures about 25 dB, and a gas-powered lawn mower around 90-95. Normal conversations come in around 60 dB. This means that those with mild hearing loss struggle to hear things as quiet as and quieter than whispers. Those with moderate to profound hearing loss struggle to understand things as simple as everyday speech — unless they’re wearing hearing aids.

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Degree of hearing loss Hearing level (dB)
Mild 26-40
Moderate 41-55
Moderately severe 56-70
Severe 71-90
Profound 91+

Causes of profound hearing loss

Contrary to what most people may think, ageing isn’t the only cause of profound hearing loss. While it is a risk factor, profound hearing loss can be caused by other things, including:

  • You genetics
  • Certain viruses and antibiotics
  • Loud noises

Noise-induced hearing loss is a common and avoidable cause of hearing loss in general. Things like loud concerts, fireworks, and even lawnmowers can cause instant damage, but they can also cause hearing loss overtime with repeated exposure. According to the World Health Organization, more than 1 billion young adults are subjecting themselves to noises at unsafe levels, risking permanent hearing loss. This can be avoided by simply turning the volume down.

Test your hearing

If you’re unsure of your degree of hearing loss, take our online hearing test to learn about it privately from the comfort of home. Results will be sent directly to your email address.

The longer you wait to have your hearing loss treated, the greater risk you have for additional health issues, such as depression and even dementia. If your brain isn’t processing sounds correctly, your cognitive abilities may suffer.

Profound hearing loss treatment has come a long way in just the last 10 years. Treatment is non-invasive and includes nearly invisible hearing aids that are smaller and smarter than ever before. They’re equipped with ultra-fast technology chips, which means they provide crystal-clear sound clarity in any environment. We recommend modern hearing aids for any type of hearing loss, from mild to profound, so you can keep hearing your best as you continue to age and protect the hearing you have left.

Our hearing experts are here for you

If you’re noticing you’re having a hard time hearing and need help with profound and severe hearing loss, talk to one of our caring hearing experts today to see if you qualify for our no-risk hearing aid trial. You can try a pair of the most popular and effective hearing aids on the market today to see how you can hear your best for all your tomorrows.

Jesse Botella

Jesse's love for attending rock concerts without ear protection caused him to develop noise-induced hearing loss in his right ear. He now uses his personal experience and passion for words to write about hearing loss and the benefits of wearing hearing aids.

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