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What Are the Different Levels of Hearing Loss?
Experiencing any kind of hearing loss can cause a great amount of concern and stress. Therefore, regardless of the degree of loss you are suffering from, it is essential to obtain professional help as soon as possible. With the proper diagnosis and treatment, people can proactively face their hearing loss and find the best treatment. However, hearing loss and deafness can cover a broad range of hearing issues.
As a result, patients are frequently confused about their choices and treatment options. In response to the situation, a sufferer may buy the inappropriate hearing aids for his or her condition as well. Thus, this is why it is crucial to make an appointment with an audiologist for a professional hearing assessment.
What causes hearing loss?
Some forms of hearing loss are preventable. While hearing can diminish with age, you can still take measures to lessen the effect. A natural connection exists between the degree of hearing loss you are experiencing and the volume of sound. Therefore, the loss can either be permanent or temporary.
We are constantly surrounded by noise in modern everyday life. However, our ears are also delicate structures that can be easily affected by noise. Our exposures to noise at work, noise on the roadway and music can ultimately affect our ability to hear.
A continuous level of noise at 85 decibels (dB) can cause either temporary or permanent hearing loss. This is the sound level of heavy traffic on the highway. A compressed air hammer has a level of sound of around 100dB and the music at rock concerts mostly always reaches a level of about 120 dB. This same kind of audio intensity can also be produced by music played on a headset.
What levels of hearing loss are there?
Usually, a loss of hearing is categorized into four types of loss – mild, moderate, severe or profound.
- Mild hearing loss: Patients with a mild loss of hearing have difficulty understanding sound between 20-39 decibels. This kind of hearing difficulty often leads to trouble hearing sounds from normal TV or radio broadcasts. Conversing with another person at a distance can also prove to be really difficult. Any ambient noise will also impact the effects of a mild hearing loss.
- Moderate hearing loss: A patient with moderate hearing loss has difficulty hearing sounds that are between 40-69 decibels. Moderate hearing loss is an exaggerated form of a mild hearing loss
- Severe hearing loss: Patients who exhibit a severe hearing loss have trouble hearing sounds between 70-89 decibels. Those who have this kind of hearing impairment usually can only communicate if the speaker is standing at a close distance. Patients suffering from severe hearing loss need hearing aids that increase the volume of speech without any interruption of any form of background noise.
- Profound hearing loss: With a profound hearing loss or deafness, a patient cannot hear up to 90 decibels. This is the most severe form of hearing loss. Moreover, people suffering from profound hearing loss also find it difficult to hear people. Thus, patients often have to rely on visual communication.
If you or someone you know might be suffering from hearing loss, regardless how mild or severe, it’s important to schedule an appointment with a qualified hearing care professional to have your condition diagnosed. Hearing loss can impact your quality of life, mental and emotional wellbeing, so take care of it today!