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The Degrees of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is a condition that can affect any person at any such age, from a young infant to a fully-grown adult. However, hearing loss is different in each hearing-impaired individual, hence will display different symptoms depending on its level of severity.

The table below shows the varying degrees of hearing loss.

Degree of hearing loss Hearing loss range (dB)
Mild 25 - 40
Moderate 45 - 65
Severe 70 - 85
Profound 90 and above

Source: Rahman, S. A. (2016). Pendengaran Kita. MyHEALTH Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia. http://www.myhealth.gov.my/pendengaran-kita/

Need more information on the degrees of hearing loss? The following sections explore the varying levels of severity, particularly the different symptoms they may exhibit.

Mild Hearing Loss

People suffering from mild hearing loss may experience difficulty hearing soft-spoken people as well as softer consonant sounds such as /f/, /s/, /th/, and /k/. If you know someone with mild hearing loss, then you may notice that they constantly ask others to repeat themselves in conversation.

Hearing Loss

If you can’t hear everyday sounds well, you may have a degree of hearing loss.

Moderate to Moderately Severe Hearing Loss

Hearing loss in this range often leads to difficulty in hearing vowel sounds and soft to moderately loud sounds. Individuals tend to set their televisions and music at a higher volume and have a harder time understanding speech on a daily basis. This degree of hearing loss can also affect one’s professional and social lives negatively and, if left untreated, can even cause feelings of isolation. Hearing aids and other sound amplification devices may benefit some individuals in this range, if other medical options are unavailable.

Severe to Profound Hearing Loss

Severe to profound hearing loss can greatly impair individuals suffering from it, as they are unable to hear loud to very loud sounds such as busy traffic, alarm clocks, fire alarms, and even an airplane engine. High-powered hearing aids and cochlear implants can help those within this hearing loss range. However, cochlear implants may not be for everyone so individuals will have to complete a hearing evaluation with a trained specialist before considering this option.

Article sources:

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (2019), Degrees of Hearing Loss, viewed 27 February 2019, https://www.asha.org/public/hearing/Degree-of-Hearing-Loss/

Hayes, K 2017, ‘What are the Different Degrees of Hearing Loss?’, Verywell Health, viewed 27 February 2019, https://www.verywellhealth.com/degrees-of-hearing-loss-4155200

Hearing Health Foundation (2019), Degrees of Hearing Loss, viewed 27 February 2019, https://hearinghealthfoundation.org/degrees-of-hearing-loss

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