Understanding the Different Levels of Hearing Loss

Hearing impairment is a widespread health issue that may result from extended exposure to loud noises, the natural aging process, illnesses, or genetic factors. The severity of this condition varies, often leading to challenges in perceiving and comprehending spoken language, along with experiencing decreased cognitive functions and deteriorating mental well-being.

When it comes to identifying the symptoms of hearing loss, it is important to note that they vary among patients. The impairment often occurs gradually, making it more challenging to know when it starts and when you should seek help. 

In general, the first step you should take is to understand the main stages of hearing loss, before typing “hearing aid parts near me” on your phone and searching for quality hearing aid devices and accessories to improve your overall hearing.

To help you along, we have written the ultimate guide elaborating on the different levels of hearing loss and how they are measured. 

Photo by Anthony Camerlo from Unsplash

The five stages of hearing loss

There are five different levels of hearing loss and these are mild, moderate, moderately-severe, severe and profound. Each level is based on how loud sounds need to be for a patient to hear them and is characterized by different symptoms.

For instance, people suffering from mild loss may have difficulties understanding soft sounds such as falling of leaves, a whisper or dropping of a pin, especially in situations with a lot of background noise. 

If the speech sounds become more challenging to hear and you require higher volume levels to understand, then you may be suffering from moderate loss. At this stage, you are most likely going to need hearing aids to be able to engage in conversations and hear better.

If you find it more difficult to comprehend speech even with hearing aids, or you tend to read lips to understand the conversations, then you probably have moderately-severe hearing loss.

If you struggle to hear loud speech and require stronger hearing devices to navigate daily life, then you have reached the stage of severe hearing loss. 

If you are unable to hear extremely loud sounds and conversations with amplification, then you may be suffering from profound hearing loss in which case you may prefer using sign language to communicate with others. 

Measuring hearing loss

Hearing loss is typically measured on a scale of decibels (dB). The decibel levels for each level of hearing impairment are:

  • Mild: 25-40 dB
  • Moderate: 40-60 dB
  • Moderately severe: 60-80 dB
  • Severe: 80-90 dB
  • Profound: 90 dB and greater

For better understanding, here are some common sounds to give you an idea of what you should be able to hear, or not hear, at each stage of hearing loss.

  • 20 dB: watch ticking
  • 40-60 dB: normal conversation
  • 70 dB: washing machine
  • 90 dB: leaf blower
  • 100-110 dB: TV or radio
  • 120 dB: music concerts and sirens
  • 140 dB: firecrackers 

In any case, it is important that you make an appointment with a qualified healthcare professional to properly measure your hearing loss, determine the stage of the impairment and prescribe you a suitable treatment. The doctor will administer a series of hearing tests and evaluate the outcome on a specialized audiogram.

Hearing impairment in both ears

In general, when hearing loss occurs, it is present in both ears with the same degree of impairment. However, if one ear is significantly worse, then you may be suffering from asymmetrical hearing loss which is usually a result of a medical cause.

Depending on the outcome you get from the audiogram, as well as your lifestyle, your hearing professional will recommend a course of treatment which typically include wearing hearing aids and enrolling in auditory therapy classes.

Keep in mind that if you don’t seek immediate treatment for any stage of hearing loss, you are increasing the chances of suffering from cognitive decline and poor mental health. This can easily result in the development of various health-related problems such as depression, anxiety, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Photo by Mark Paton from Unsplash

Final thoughts

No matter the type of hearing loss you suffer from, it can certainly hinder your ability to communicate effectively with others and connect with the rest of the world. The first step you should take when noticing the first signs of impairment is to seek immediate help from professional audiologists who will perform multiple hearing tests to determine the severity of your condition.

In the meantime, refer to our post to understand the different stages of hearing loss and how it is measured. 

Krystal Morrison

I create this blog to share my daily tips about home improvement, children, pets, food, health, and ways to be frugal while maintaining a natural lifestyle. Interested to be a Guest Blogger on my website? Please email me at: [email protected]

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

There are affiliate links in this post. At no cost to you, I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.