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Is a Hearing Device Helpful for Moderate Sensory Hearing Loss?

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a patient inserting a new hearing aid into her ear

Sensory hearing loss is the most common form of hearing loss in the world. It stems from the minuscule hair cells in your inner ear getting damaged. When this happens, the hairs are unable to work correctly and pick up sound vibrations, which they then deliver through nerve pathways to the brain. As a result, your ability to hear will decrease significantly as the hairs become more and more damaged. 

There are many causes of sensory hearing loss, and the most common is age. Age-related hearing loss is sensory because the small hair cells will naturally deteriorate and become damaged as your body gets older. However, exposure to loud noises can speed up the death of these cells, which is why many people end up with sensory hearing loss if they live or work in noisy environments. 

The good news is that you can treat sensory hearing loss with hearing aids. But some people wonder if you will benefit from a hearing device when you have moderate hearing loss. To understand the answer to this, we need to look at moderate sensory hearing loss in more depth. 

What is moderate sensory hearing loss?

Your audiologist will categorize hearing loss into the following four levels: 

  • Mild 
  • Moderate
  • Severe
  • Profound

Moderate hearing loss is in the middle, and the technical definition is that you can’t hear sounds below around 40-75 decibels. How does this transfer into regular life? Well, people with moderate hearing loss may struggle to pick up on sounds like the telephone ringing or the doorbell chiming. You can still hear people speak, but it might be harder than normal and you need to ask people to repeat themselves. It’s also going to be hard to follow lots of sounds all at once – like if you’re in a busy room with lots of people talking. 

Is moderate sensory hearing loss treatable with hearing aids?

Both mild and moderate sensory hearing loss can be treated with a hearing device. Ironically, a lot of people assume that hearing aids are reserved for severe and profound hearing loss. However, they don’t tend to have any effect on people with really bad hearing problems. 

You see, hearing aids work by increasing the power of the sound vibrations that enter your ears. You’ll recall we mentioned how those small sensory hair cells have difficulty picking up regular vibrations. If you can raise the level of the vibrations, then the cells can pick them up once more. 

In turn, they can properly process the sound and send signals to your brain that tells you what the sound is, where it’s coming from, and what’s being said. If you’re on the far end of the moderate spectrum – bordering on severe – then your hearing aids will be configured with a much higher amplification than someone who’s on the lower end of the moderate scale. 

The overall effect is like somebody has flicked a switched and increased the volume in your life. You’ll still have moderate hearing loss, but you can hear perfectly fine when the hearing aids are in place and turned on. So, yes, a hearing device is most certainly helpful for this form of hearing loss. 

Are there any other ways to treat moderate sensory hearing loss?

There are a couple of other ways you can treat this hearing problem. The first depends on what’s caused your hearing loss. As we said, most people suffer from age-related or noise-induced hearing loss. But, the next common cause is disease or infection. If this is the case for you, then treating the disease or infection will usually reverse the effects of sensory hearing loss. 

Lastly, you could get a middle ear implant if hearing aids don’t work. In fact, this option is only given to people who haven’t responded well to hearing aid treatment. It’s like a more advanced hearing aid that gets surgically implanted into your ear. This amplifies the vibrations you experience, allowing the sensory cells to work more efficiently. 

Need help with hearing loss? Contact us today

If you experience moderate sensory hearing loss, then you need to get the correct treatment. At Brentwood Hearing Center, we can offer custom-made hearing aids that are designed to treat your specific hearing problems. We can book you in for a consultation and hearing aid fitting where we look at all the features you need and configure the device to work for your ears. Please feel free to contact us at 615-377-0420 for further details and to learn more about our range of audiology services.