What Level of Hearing Loss Requires the Use of a Hearing Aid?

by | Apr 19, 2022 | Hearing Loss, Patient Resources

When you notice changes in your hearing, your first thought might be that you need hearing aids. However, not every level of hearing loss requires the use of hearing aids.

Millions of people around the world benefit from wearing hearing aids each day. For many people with hearing loss, having hearing aids fitted makes a significant difference to their quality of life and enhances their everyday experiences. From making it possible to hear conversations and stay connected to their loved ones, to listening to their favorite music without needing to adjust the volume, there are certainly many benefits that can be gained from wearing hearing aids.

Have you noticed a recent change in your ability to hear? If so, you may wonder whether wearing hearing aids will help you regain some or all of your hearing. Hearing aids can help to improve the hearing of many people with a range of different levels of hearing loss. But, the only way to determine whether hearing aids are the best treatment option for you is to schedule a hearing screening with an audiologist.

Level of Hearing Loss

When you notice changes in your hearing, your first thought might be that you need hearing aids. However, not every level of hearing loss requires the use of hearing aids. When you visit the audiologist for your hearing screening, they will carry out a thorough assessment of your hearing, including an audiogram test. Based on the information they gather during your tests, your audiologist will devise a treatment plan that may involve the use of hearing aids.

After your hearing screening, your audiologist will determine your degree of hearing loss. Your degree of hearing loss is defined by how loud a sound needs to be for you to hear it, and this is measured in decibels (dB). The degree of hearing loss is broken down into the following categories:

  • Slight
  • Mild
  • Moderate
  • Moderately Severe
  • Severe
  • Profound

As well as measuring your degree of hearing loss, the audiologist will also determine the type of hearing loss you are experiencing. Understanding the type of hearing loss you are experiencing is crucial, as this will influence which form of treatment is right for you. There are three types of hearing loss: conductive hearing loss, sensorineural hearing loss and mixed hearing loss.

Conductive Hearing Loss

Conductive hearing loss can be caused by earwax blockages and ear infections and can cause sounds to appear muffled. Conductive hearing loss is sometimes treated using hearing aids.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sensorineural hearing loss occurs if there is a problem with the cochlea or auditory nerve. Sensorineural hearing loss is usually permanent, and hearing aids are often used as the primary form of treatment.

Mixed Hearing Loss

As its name suggests, mixed hearing loss is a combination of both conductive hearing loss and sensorineural hearing loss. Mixed hearing loss is often treated with the use of hearing aids.

Degree of Hearing Loss and Hearing Aids

Determining which level of hearing loss requires the use of a hearing aid is something that your audiologist will be able to advise on depending on your individual needs. Generally speaking, the lowest level of hearing loss that requires a hearing aid is moderate hearing loss, and the categories of hearing loss above this will also likely be recommended to use hearing aids. The type of hearing loss that you are experiencing is also a crucial consideration. People that have sensorineural and mixed hearing loss may be the most likely to use hearing aids.

It is crucial to remember that everyone’s hearing abilities and experiences of hearing loss are different. The only way to know for sure if you need hearing aids and which type of hearing aid is the right choice for you is to schedule hearing tests with your audiologist. Scheduling regular appointments will help your audiologist to establish what is a normal pattern of hearing for you and will enable them to spot any deterioration in your hearing more quickly. Early detection of hearing loss will help you to get the treatment you need faster.

Schedule a Hearing Test Today

Here at Allison Audiology & Hearing Aid Center, P.C., we value your hearing and are proud to offer hearing screenings and hearing aid evaluations to help determine your individual hearing needs. If you would like to schedule a hearing screening or would like to find out more about our services and how we can help you with your hearing needs, why not contact us today. Call us at Houston: 713-827-1767, and we will be happy to help.

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Jana Emola-Austin, Au.D.

Raised in Bryan, Texas, Jana completed her undergraduate studies at Texas A&M University before attending the University of North Texas with an ambition to earn her master’s degree in speech pathology. However, a required audiology class soon set her on a new career path. She became enthralled with the subject and says audiology resonated with her because it involved everything she enjoys – helping people to improve their lives and relationships with others and using technology to make positive impacts. Following this revelation, Jana went on to graduate with her Doctor of Audiology degree. After many years of assisting patients in the clinic on a daily basis, Jana’s main responsibilities at Allison Audiology have shifted to a management role. She now works behind the scenes focusing on administrative, management, and marketing responsibilities.