Our Doctors of Audiology provide the best hearing aids for profound hearing loss. We have the most affordable hearing aids for profound hearing loss in Utah and Wyoming, and we’re willing to prove it with absolutely no financial risk to you!
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Adults with untreated hearing loss experience a 30-40% faster decline in cognitive abilities.
Adults with untreated hearing loss are more likely to develop dementia. Essentially, the researchers said, hearing loss seemed to speed up age-related cognitive decline
People with mild hearing loss (25 dB) are 3 times more likely to have a history of falling. Every additional 10 decibels of hearing loss increases the chances of falling by 1.4 times the regular risk.
Best Hearing Aids for Profound Hearing Loss
At Intermountain hearing centers we are often asked, “What are the best hearing aids for profound hearing loss?” That is a fantastic question. However, in order to answer that we must discuss and understand a few essential items. The first thing that is important to discuss is that not all hearing loss is equal.
There is a variety of different types and severities of hearing loss. The severities of hearing loss range from slight, mild, moderate, moderately-severe, severe and profound. The different severities of hearing loss referred to how much hearing has deteriorated at specific frequencies. For instance, when an individual comes in for testing in the present with a mild hearing loss, they may think that the amount of hearing loss is not significant. However, a mild hearing loss is the equivalent of having earplugs in your ears. A severe to profound hearing loss is the equivalent of being deaf without the use of any assistive device.
The different types of hearing loss are sensorineural, conductive and mixed. The most common type of hearing loss is sensorineural. This refers to a deterioration of the hair cells or nerve endings within the inner ear. Sensorineural hearing loss can be caused by genetics, medication, noise exposure and the natural aging process. A conductive hearing loss is usually caused by impaired movement of the eardrum or the bones in the middle ear space. This can be caused by a variety of conditions ranging from ear infections, middle ear fluid and obstructions to the ear canal being the most common. A mixed hearing loss is a combination of a conductive hearing loss and a sensorineural hearing loss. Before prescribing a treatment for hearing loss, such as a hearing aid, it is important to establish the type and severity of hearing loss. The best hearing aids for profound hearing loss will usually be used for mixed hearing loss or sensorineural hearing loss.
Conductive and mixed hearing losses require a medical examination from an ear, nose and throat physician or otologist. Sometimes they can be treated medically as opposed to the use of an assistive listening device. For sensorineural hearing loss, there is no known way to restore the function of the inner ear. The best option is to treat the hearing loss with the use of a hearing device.
Now that we have established the types and severities of hearing loss, we need to talk about the purpose of the ear. The purpose of the ear is to convert sound into a form of energy that the brain can understand. Sound is propagated as acoustic energy and then transformed within the ear from acoustic energy to mechanical energy, then to hydraulic energy and then to electrical energy. The electrical energy is then transmitted through the hearing nerve to the brain. Our brain sorts out and interprets everything it is receiving. Ultimately, we hear with our brain and our ears serve as a way for the brain to gain access to speech information. The goal of hearing aids is to provide the brain with a clear, natural speech signal in order to keep your brain active so that it can process sound clearly. Even with the best hearing aids for profound hearing loss, if your brain cannot process sound quickly and clearly the benefit of the hearing devices may be limited.
There are a variety of hearing aids available. The basic styles of hearing aids are either something that is custom-made to go down in the ear canal or a hearing aid that fits over the year. The most common type of hearing aid used is called a receiver in the ear (RITE) hearing aid that fits over the ear. This style of hearing aid will be the best option for most, but they may not be the best hearing aids for profound hearing loss. The best hearing aids for profound hearing loss requires a significant amount of amplification. The best way to accomplish this is with the use of a behind the ear (BTE) hearing aid. A behind the year hearing aid will often use a size 13 battery or size 675 battery. It connects to the ear with a thick tube that is attached to a custom earmold. It is important to have the custom earmold because even though behind the ear hearing aids may be the best hearing aids for profound hearing loss, they need a way to provide that amplification to the ear without causing significant feedback or distortion. That is best accomplished by having a custom earmold made.
There are many manufacturers of hearing aids. We often refer to the 6 major manufacturers of hearing aids. These manufacturers are Oticon, Starkey, Phonak, ReSound, Siemens (Signia) and Widex. They all claim that they have the best hearing aids for profound hearing loss. The truth is that they all make fantastic hearing aids and they all have strengths and weaknesses in their products. In our experience, we recommend the Xceed BTE hearing aids from Oticon as the best hearing aids for profound hearing loss. They provide the most amplification available in a hearing aid at this time, which is important when looking for the best hearing aids for profound hearing loss. Oticon has recently developed some improvements in decreasing the amount of feedback you receive without compromising loudness or amplification. They also provide enhanced speech clarity in a complex situation with multiple speakers, which is the most difficult situation people with and without hearing loss will experience.
Another feature in hearing aids that is important to consider is Bluetooth connectivity. Hearing aids will now connect via Bluetooth to many smart phones. With iPhones you can even stream audio directly into the hearing aids without the use of an intermediary device. Direct audio streaming from an android phone can be accomplished with Phonak and ReSound hearing aids at this point. The other manufactures require the use of an intermediary device to connect between the hearing aids and the phone. When considering the best hearing aids for profound hearing loss, it is important to consider having Bluetooth connectivity in the hearing aid. Because people with profound hearing loss often struggle to understand conversation on the telephone, they need the ability to have audio from the phone streamed directly into their ears. This will significantly increase their ability to understand the conversation.
An important thing we discuss with all of our patients are the two key ingredients to being successful with hearing aids. Even though you may have the best hearing aids for profound hearing loss, those hearing aids do you no good if you do not wear them and do not have the proper follow-up care. The most important thing in being successful with the hearing aid is your ability and determination to wear the hearing device most of the time. We often hear stories of people that have purchased hearing aids and do not wear them. This is not helpful to the individual, their family or the hearing healthcare industry. They will often complain about too much background noise or that the settings are not correct.
When you begin wearing a hearing aid you start exposing your brain to sounds that you have not heard for many years, especially in the case of profound hearing loss. Your brain has adjusted to hearing sound a certain way. When you present the brain with sounds it has not heard in a long time, it can be confusing and often requires time to adjust. A good analogy is to think of your audiologist as your hearing fitness coach. Our job is to get you back into hearing shape. Hearing in a difficult situation, like a family gathering or a noisy restaurant is the hearing equivalent of running a marathon. You cannot just run a marathon without any training. It requires training and time to get your body to the point that it can handle that type of stress. It is similar with hearing that our brain requires time to get used to hearing and back into shape.
We often fit hearing aids in a quiet room, which is not indicative of the real world. That is why it is so important for people to wear their hearing aids constantly, allowing their brain to get back into shape and then have consistent follow-up care from their audiologist or hearing healthcare provider to adjust the hearing devices. This is an ongoing process and can often take many follow-ups. We can make numerous adjustments and changes to the hearing aid settings; we just need to know which changes to make. That is another reason consistent follow up care is essential in the hearing aid process. Once the hearing aids are set appropriately, they need to be maintained. Constant maintenance of hearing aids will result in a fantastic hearing experience and allow people to get the benefit they need from the best hearing aids for profound hearing loss. If you or your loved ones suffer from hearing loss, please reach out to us so that we can guide you through your hearing journey.