Best Hearing Aids for Severe to Profound Hearing Loss

Kasey Craig, Au.D.
#1 Phonak

With their wide range of hearing aids made with advanced audio technology –– not to mention compatibility with Roger accessories –– Phonak is a great choice for those with profound hearing loss.

Why We Recommend Phonak

  • Great sound quality
  • Roger accessories
  • Bluetooth streaming
  • One to three-year warranty
#2 Oticon

The Oticon Xceed, with its advanced sound processing, does an impressive job at amplifying sounds that you’re missing while tuning out background noise and static.

Why We Recommend Oticon

  • Compact high-powered aids
  • Risk-free trial
  • Smart features
  • Bluetooth streaming
#3 ReSound

From tinnitus relief to made-for-iPhone technology, ReSound hearing aids are a great solution for those with profound hearing loss.

Why We Recommend ReSound

  • iPhone compatibility
  • Disposable or rechargeable batteries
  • Background noise reduction
  • Natural sound replication

Hearing loss is one of the most common conditions among seniors. In fact, it is estimated that nearly 30 million people over the age of 60 have some form of hearing loss. Among this group, nearly two million suffer from severe or profound hearing loss, a variety of the condition that makes it difficult to partake in everyday activities like conversing or listening to the radio.

Luckily, there are special types of hearing aids designed to accommodate people with severe or profound hearing loss. In this rundown, we’ll take a look at some of the best options available.

What Is Severe Hearing Loss?

Not all hearing losses are created equally. Similar to vision impairment, there are different degrees of loss that require different prescriptions. This is something you should keep in mind when looking to purchase a hearing aid, as different devices are made to accommodate different degrees of hearing loss. Most hearing aids are suitable for those with mild to severe hearing loss; however, only certain devices can accommodate the needs of someone with severe to profound hearing loss.

Here is an overview of the different types of hearing loss.

Degrees of Hearing Loss

Type of Hearing Loss Hearing Threshold Symptoms Common Sounds You Might Miss
Normal Hearing 0 – 25 dB
  • Imperceptible symptoms, if any
  • A leaky faucet
Mild Hearing Loss 25 – 40 dB
  • Difficulty hearing quiet conversations
  • A ticking clock
  • Rustling leaves
Moderate Hearing Loss 40 – 60 dB
  • Difficulty understanding speech at normal volumes
  • Higher volumes required to hear the TV or radio
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Bird calls
Severe Hearing Loss 60 – 80 dB
  • Cannot hear normal speech without amplification
  • A toilet flushing
  • Passing cars
Severe-Profound Hearing Loss 80 – 90 dB
  • Comprehension of speech is impossible without technological assistance
  • A food blender
  • A baby crying
Profound Hearing Loss 90 dB and greater
  • Comprehension still difficult with amplified speech devices
  • A lawnmower
  • A motorcycle

What Causes Severe Hearing Loss?

For most people, hearing loss is caused by a combination of noise exposure, genetics, and age. Naturally, this is why the condition is much more common in older adults; however, there are also several external factors that can contribute to hearing loss:

  • Noise Exposure: While aging naturally brings about wear and tear on the nerve cells inside of our ears, exposure to loud noises can accelerate this process. Individuals with long-term noise exposure, often factory and construction workers, are likely to have hearing loss. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to stay away from loud noises or wear earplugs when such noises can’t be avoided.
  • History of Ear Infection: Any history of recurrent growths, infections, or eardrum ruptures can potentially lead to permanent hearing loss.

Once these sensitive parts of your ear are damaged, there is often no way to repair them, so it’s important to take care of your ears. With that said, a quality hearing aid can go a long way towards restoring one’s ability to hear, especially for those with severe to profound hearing loss.

Phonak hearing aids use the latest technology to help seniors hear.
Phonak hearing aids

What To Look For in a Hearing Aid for Severe Hearing Loss

I had my work cut out for me when it came to reviewing these hearing aids. There are so many more good options for those with severe to profound hearing loss than there were in the past.

I have fit many patients with profound hearing loss. One thing to keep in mind is that if you have been wearing one brand of hearing aids for many years, it may be difficult to switch to another brand because your brain is already used to the sound quality and sound processing of a particular brand. You know what’s best and what works for you. If you’re in the market for new power hearing aids, here are the qualities that I looked for to consider:

  • Sound Quality: It goes without saying that a hearing aid should produce sounds audibly and clearly. Different hearing aids have different sound qualities, and some of what makes them work for you is individual preference.
  • Adjustable Settings: While almost any hearing aid can perform well in a quiet room with only one person talking, it’s a whole different task for a hearing aid to pick up speech in a room filled with noise. With this in mind, I looked for hearing aids with directional microphones and noise cancellation features that help you focus on the sounds you want to hear while tuning out the ones you don’t.
  • Accessories: People with severe to profound hearing loss often need additional accessories to maximize their communication. The availability and compatibility of accessories can make a big difference in quality of life.
Oticon Hearing Aids
Oticon Hearing Aids

The Best Hearing Aids for Severe Hearing Loss