Woman with hearing loss looks out of window, holding a cup of coffee and thinking about taking a free online hearing test on the Lexie Hearing website.

What Level of Hearing Loss Requires a Hearing Aid?

Hearing loss is different for everyone. If you’re not sure if you have hearing loss, read about the different levels of hearing loss and which of them can be treated with hearing aids.

Hearing loss is different for everyone and some levels of hearing loss do require a hearing aid. How your hearing loss affects you depends on how severe your level of hearing loss is, as well as on other factors that are unique to your situation.  Because it happens gradually, you may have become used to getting by with not hearing very well. What level of hearing loss requires a hearing aid? If you are not sure whether you have hearing loss or need a hearing aid, the first step you can take is to do an online hearing test on our website.  

What is normal hearing?

People with normal hearing can hear very quiet sounds such as soft whispering, or leaves rustling in the wind, with ease. They will however also have difficulty in very noisy environments due to speech sounds being drowned out, similar to people with hearing loss,

The 4 levels of hearing loss

Mild Hearing Loss

Mild hearing loss makes it difficult to hear quiet sounds, such as people whispering or the hum of electrical equipment. Conversations in quiet surroundings or with only one person are easier to hear. However, It may be difficult to hear well when in a group of people or in noisy surroundings, it may seem as though people are mumbling or speaking too softly.

If you catch a hearing loss while it is still mild you will have an advantage using hearing aids like the Lexie Lumen. The Lumen is fine-tuned to make speech clearer without making sound louder than you need. 

Moderate Hearing Loss

Moderate hearing loss will lead to experiencing hearing difficulties in many day-to-day situations. It becomes difficult to keep up with conversations, even in quiet environments, and understanding speech when you cannot see the person’s face. Talking on the telephone will become quite difficult and listening will be challenging. You may find yourself becoming more irritated, frustrated, or withdrawn than before. 

A hearing aid, like the Lexie Lumen,  will amplify sounds at the levels and pitches where your ear is no longer functioning well and it will help you to hear better in different listening environments. You will feel more confident, more relaxed, and less drained by the effort required to listen.

Severe Hearing Loss

It is not possible to hear well with severe hearing loss.  You will not be able to hear people talking unless you are wearing a hearing aid to amplify speech sounds. You will not hear the phone ringing, the doorbell or the TV, and you will miss most everyday sounds around you.

If you experience severe hearing loss a hearing aid will be of great benefit to you.  It can allow you to follow conversations and will help you to function effectively in a hearing world. Keep in mind, however, group conversations, noisy environments, and using the telephone may still be challenging.  Developing lip reading skills and learning additional strategies for effective communication will be helpful.  For this degree of hearing loss, it is advised that you seek professional help as a more powerful hearing aid may be required.

Profound Hearing Loss

When you have a profound hearing loss a sound may need to be as loud as a chainsaw, lawnmower, or airplane for you to hear it.  A hearing aid will allow you to detect a greater variety of loud sounds in your environment and increase your safety. However, even a powerful hearing aid cannot always provide enough loudness and clarity for you to hear and understand well enough when people are speaking.  You will need to seek professional help and may need to consider other options such as a cochlear implant, lip-reading, or sign language.  

The Audiogram is not everything… where do lifestyle and personality fit in?

Your level of hearing loss should always be interpreted against the backdrop of your own lifestyle and experience. Some individuals may have a mild level of hearing loss but its negative effects have a major impact on their lives. Others may have poorer hearing, but find that the effect on their lives is less significant. Your life phase, work demands, personality, interests, social life, family context, and many other factors will determine your unique experience of hearing difficulties.  

A Lexie hearing expert can help you recognize how your hearing loss affects you in different situations. The Lexie hearing expert will use this information, and the results from your online hearing test, to recommend the appropriate course of action, It may or may not include a hearing aid.

The way forward

If you know what level of hearing loss you have and understand how this affects your life, you can make the right choices and find solutions. Please don’t struggle in silence and on your own. Help is available to connect you to a world of sound again.

Blog author and hearing expert, Jenny Birkenstock

Written byJenny Birkenstock

B. Speech Therapy and Audiology; Masters in Play Therapy

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