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Severe-to-profoundhearing loss

When you have a severe-to-profound hearing loss, you are only able to hear very loud speech or loud sounds. People with severe hearing loss cannot hear speech at a conversational level and for people with profound hearing loss, loud sounds are mainly only perceived as vibrations. The degree of hearing loss often varies for sounds of different pitches, with best hearing in the low pitches. 
The hardest of hearing
360 million people around the world live every day with disabling hearing loss. Of these, 10% have a severe-to-profound hearing loss.* 
Severe-to-profound hearing loss can occur at any age. This degree of hearing loss may be present at birth or early childhood, or it may progress with age.

*World Health Organization, 2016
Key challenges

If you have a severe-to-profound hearing loss you might recognize some of these key challenges:

  • Noisy environments – it’s extremely hard to follow a conversation in a busy environment with a lot of background noise
  • Hear clarity of speech – even if sounds are made louder, for example with hearing aids, important sounds like speech may not be clear 
  • Telephone conversations – talking on the phone is extremely difficult or even impossible
Coping strategies

Have you noticed that you start to use coping strategies to manage and take control over different listening situations? Some of the most common coping strategies include:

  • Visual clues – people with severe-to-profound hearing loss depend a lot on visual clues e.g. lip reading (a study shows that people get 70% better speech understanding using facetime video and voice streaming compared to a regular call**)
  • Noisy environments– do you always try to find the quiet corner to minimize the noise?
  • Big meeting rooms – do you place yourself close to the speaker(s) to be able to hear what is being said?
** Jespersen, CT, Kirkwood, B. Speech Intelligibility Benefits of FaceTime. Hearing Review. 2015;21(2):28.

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Today's powerful hearing aids do make a difference
The requirements to hearing aids for people with severe-to-profound hearing loss are incredibly demanding. Today, there are hearing aids available that can help you experience an everyday life full of joy.