Assisting people with severe to profound hearing loss

Do you know someone struggling with hearing issues? Have you seen them stepping back from social situations? Though this behavior may surprise you, it’s essential to recognize that living with hearing loss can be overwhelming. This is particularly true for those with severe to profound hearing loss who require specialized assistance. Your role as a supportive presence can significantly impact their journey toward rehabilitation.  

This blog invites you to join a journey of empathy and understanding as we explore ways to assist loved ones facing severe to profound hearing loss. Together, we'll navigate their world, uncovering practical strategies and heartfelt gestures to make a meaningful difference. Let's unite and offer the compassion, connection, and unwavering support they need during these trying times. 

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Understanding severe to profound hearing Loss 

The extent of hearing loss varies from person to person, depending on their hearing sensitivity and how long they've had the condition. This sensitivity or the hearing threshold is measured in decibels (dB), categorizing hearing into normal, mild, moderate, severe, or profound loss. 

Severe hearing loss is diagnosed when the threshold falls between 70 and 90 dB, while values above 90 dB indicate profound hearing loss.  

But what do these thresholds mean in real life? Let's break it down. 

Normal hearing 

People can hear every day sounds like birds chirping, a refrigerator's hum, or leaves rustling (up to a 25 dB threshold). 

Mild to Moderate hearing loss 

It indicates difficulty hearing speech, but you can still catch conversational sounds or noises as loud as a vacuum cleaner (26-69 dB threshold). 

Severe hearing loss 

Those affected are missing out on speech sounds but can still perceive louder noises like a piano or pass

ing motorbike (70-90 dB threshold). 

Profound hearing loss 

It entails hearing only very loud sounds, such as a truck, drums, or a helicopter (above the 90 dB threshold). 

Signs of hearing loss

Hearing loss can profoundly affect one’s physical and emotional well-being. Annually, hearing loss leads to a global cost of $980 billion due to decreased productivity and social exclusion. 
Here are some common challenges that people with hearing loss may face on a daily basis.

Social gatherings 

They tend to rely on visual cues during conversations. This becomes challenging when participating in group conversations, as it becomes difficult to distinguish speakers among multiple voices. This can lead to isolation and withdrawal from social gatherings, especially for people with severe to profound hearing loss. 

Noisy environments 

Public places such as restaurants and shopping malls can be challenging. The constant background noise makes it difficult to communicate with others amid the unwanted chatter. Thus, people may struggle to hear the high-clarity sounds of the person they are speaking with over competing noise. 

Subtle sounds or lack of visual cues 

When someone has hearing loss in both ears, they may be unable to detect soft voices without visual cues. Moreover, people with severe to profound hearing loss usually depend on lip reading. This becomes impossible when the speaker is facing away, leading to missing out on the entire conversation. 

Long-range listening 

People with hearing issues easily miss sounds that come from a faraway source, such as when someone speaks from the next room or a large hall. This is because the sound becomes quieter as it travels farther, making it more difficult to hear. 

Telephone conversations 

Your friends or family with hearing issues find it difficult to follow phone conversations due to the absence of visual cues and overall loss of sound. However, with the help of a smart hearing aid that connects calls directly to the device, they can improve your ability to communicate over the phone. 

Alarms and alerts 

With hearing loss, people may miss sounds like phones, doorbells, and alarms, such as smoke detectors, when the source of the sound is far away. 

Assist your dear ones in living life to the fullest.
Share our free online hearing test. 

Online hearing test

Communicating effectively with the hearing-impaired 

If you suspect that someone in your life is suffering from hearing loss, it's crucial to approach the topic sensitively. While you may have their best interests at heart, it's essential to communicate with empathy and without any judgment. 

Educate yourself on hearing loss 

To ensure effective communication with your loved ones who have hearing loss, it's important to understand hearing health and the latest hearing technology available in the market. This knowledge will enable you to guide and support them in the best possible way. Additionally, you can inform them about the rehabilitation options available before they visit a hearing care professional, which can help reduce their anxiety. 

Also read:

Navigating silence: Life with severe to profound hearing loss

Pay attention to how you speak 

When communicating with someone who is hearing impaired, it's important to keep in mind some helpful tips to ensure effective communication. Here are some tips to keep in mind: 

  • Face the person directly and make sure there is enough light on your face while speaking.
  • Don't call out from another room or stand too far away as facial cues are important for them to understand you.
  • Speak clearly and slowly, without exaggerating your mouth movements. Try to pause between sentences and avoid speaking too fast.
  • Keep your hands away from your face when speaking.
  • When in a group conversation, say the person's name before addressing them so they can easily focus their attention.
  • If you notice that the person has better hearing in one ear, position yourself accordingly.
  • Avoid background noise if possible, such as turning down the TV or radio while speaking. 

Highlight the positives of seeking help 

If you're trying to encourage someone to seek professional help with hearing loss, it's important to emphasize the benefits. You can explain how seeking help can improve their communication with loved ones and allow them to enjoy their favorite activities again, such as listening to music. Additionally, it's important to highlight the connection between hearing and cognitive health for older adults. 

Be empathetic and patient 

When you notice that someone is feeling stressed, it's important to approach the situation with care and sensitivity. In this context, it's recommended that you avoid discussing topics such as hearing aids or rehabilitation, as these can be sensitive and potentially overwhelming for someone who is already feeling stressed. Instead, take the time to be patient and understanding, and focus on helping them find ways to alleviate their stress and achieve greater happiness in their life.  

Help reduce the stigma of hearing loss.
Nudge your loved ones to seek professional help. 

Contact our professionals  

It is essential to follow the practices mentioned above while caring for someone with hearing loss. Additionally, it is crucial to encourage your loved ones to seek professional help as early as possible. If left untreated, minor hearing issues could worsen and lead to severe or profound hearing loss.  

Rehabilitation options for severe to profound hearing loss 

Cochlear implants 

For individuals who experience severe hearing loss that cannot be resolved with hearing aids, cochlear implants can provide a solution. During this process, an electrode is inserted into the inner ear through surgery. This process also involves a processor (worn externally) that sits on the site of the implant. The implant works by bypassing the damaged inner hair cells and transmitting electrical signals to the brain, where these signals are interpreted as sounds. 

Hearing therapy 

Auditory Verbal Therapy (AVT) or Hearing therapy is an early intervention program designed for children with hearing impairment and adults who have cochlear implants or hearing aids. This program is especially helpful for individuals with severe to profound hearing loss, as it teaches them how to listen and communicate through spoken language. For hearing therapy, you can reach out to an audiologist, a speech-language pathologist, or a speech educator specializing in AVT. 

Hearing aids 

Modern hearing aids are a highly effective and non-invasive solution for severe to profound hearing loss. Some are specially designed for this level of loss and are known as "Super Power" devices. It's crucial to consult a specialist to find the right fit and frequency that suits individual needs, rather than opting for an over-the-counter device. An audiologist or hearing care professional can tailor a hearing aid to the unique requirements of the hearing-impaired person. 

Motion Charge&Go SP X: A super power solution for severe to profound hearing loss

Finding the best hearing aid for severe to profound hearing loss can be overwhelming. Those affected with this condition depend heavily on hearing aids and are sensitive to their performance. Complex hearing loss cases require a Super Power hearing aid with Super Power features. 

The Signia Xperience platform with the Motion C&G SP device can be an excellent option for those with power hearing needs. It allows the option to choose custom sound settings and find a preferred sound balance for the best performance. 

Motion C&G SP is the world’s first rechargeable Super Power device, with a wearing time of up to 61 hours. This ensures you can wear it throughout the day without worrying about running out of power. 

Learn more about Motion Charge&Go SP X 

Final thoughts 

Individuals with severe to profound hearing loss face complex challenges that require personalized solutions and constant support from healthcare professionals. Moreover, they need a strong support system of family and friends to help them navigate through these unprecedented times. By comprehending the intricacies of this condition and adopting innovative hearing technology, we can significantly improve the quality of life for people with severe to profound hearing loss.

Support your loved one's hearing journey

Encourage them to consult with our hearing care specialist today! 
Book a call

Shapnila Nath 
Content Marketer at WSA  

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