Q: I have sensorineural hearing loss. Will this mean I will need hearing aids?


Not necessarily.

It depends on the level of the defect and on how it affects your communication with those around you on your daily life. I do not know what shape  is your audiogram (implies to your impairment) and therefore I can’t give a simple yes or no answer.

However, roughly, if your SRT is 30 - 35 dB or worse, you are a candidate for using hearing aids (SRT is The lowest voice magnitude on which you can repeat words, during the hearing test).

Keep in mind that this is just a rule of thumb. As I mentioned above, the final answer depends on the shape of your audiogram (your hearing threshold on different frequencies) and on how well do you get along on your daily life.

I can meet ten different patients with the same hearing loss pattern, five will say they have no issue what so ever, and the other five will claim they need a hearing aid. It depends on your habits and day to day routine, do you communicate with lots of people? Do you fly a lot (it’s a bit noisy on the plane) and many other examples.

On top of all these, there is the question if your impairment is only on one ear or on both. The common advice used to be that if you got at least one of  your ears working fine, you don’t need a hearing aid. Today, though, we know that hearing with one ear might be tricky on certain situations (On class, for instance, with background noises of other kids, learning things for the first time might be tough with one ear). Hearing aid can be very helpful even if one ear is perfectly OK.

So my best advice is - go see a good audiologist. Give him the full picture with all the details he needs, and you’ll get a solid answer.

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