What Are The Levels Of Hearing Loss?

Levels of hearing lossThere are a variety of reasons that may cause hearing loss. While some of these can be treated with medicine or surgery, some cannot. If you have symptoms of hearing loss you should know the levels of hearing loss or the degree of hearing loss. This can help you make the right decision in protecting your hearing from further damage.

The level of auditory perception varies in each ear and only a healthcare professional or an audiologist can determine it.

The levels of hearing loss are in the chart shown below:

Degree of hearing lossHearing loss range (dB HL)
Normal-10 to 15
Slight16 to 25
Mild26 to 40
Moderate41 to 55
Moderately Severe56 to 70
Severe71 to 90
Profound 91+

How is the loudness of sound measured?

Sound is measured in units known as decibels (dB). Normally, ambient noise is about 50 dB, a conversation takes place at about 60 dB, a rock concert is a 120 dB, while a gunshot sound is 140 dB.

Prolonged exposure to sound that is louder than 85 dB can cause partial hearing loss. Sound at 120 dB is uncomfortable, but at 140 dB it becomes painful.

When an audiologist measures hearing loss, he or she measures the frequency, or pitch, within a range of 250-8000 Hz as normal conversation usually occurs within this range. Measured together the dB and Hz can tell you the level of hearing loss in your ears.

What are the different levels of hearing loss? 

Mentioned here are the different degrees for hearing loss:

Mild hearing loss: If your healthcare professional detects a hearing loss between 26 to 40 dB, then you may suffer from mild hearing loss. This means that you can easily follow one-on-one conversations, but have problems understanding conversations in presence of loud background noises.

Moderate hearing loss: If you suffer with moderate hearing loss then you probably have to ask people to repeat themselves several times, even during normal conversation. This means that your hearing loss is within 40 to 69 dB and you cannot hear sounds below 40 dB.

Severe hearing loss: If you suffer with severe hearing loss can hear between 70 to 95 dB with their better ear. They have to rely on hearing aids and lip-reading.

Profound hearing loss: In this situation you can only hear very loud sounds. You won’t be able to understand anything without the help of hearing aids or a cochlear implant. If you suffer with profound hearing loss, you cannot hear sounds lower than 95 dB.

How is hearing loss measured?

An audiologist conducts a variety of hearing tests to measure your hearing loss. An audiogram is graphed, which measures the softest sounds you could hear during the tests. You should know that the hearing frequency of each ear is different.

Tips to protect your hearing

The key to keeping your hearing healthy is to know the safest sound you can be exposed to. The rule of thumb is that if you cannot hear someone two meters away from you without them shouting, then the sound around you is probably at a damaging level. Here are a few tips for safe hearing:

  1. Use earplugs when you are in a place with loud ambient noise.
  2. Never listen to your personal music at high volumes. So if you can’t hear external sound when you have your headphone on, then the volume is too loud.
  3. You should listen to 60% of the maximum volume of your device and only for 60 minutes a day.
  4. Buy noise-cancelling headphones or the retro muff-style headphones to listen to your music as these will eliminate the background noise and allow you to listen to music at a lower level.
  5. Wear ear protectors if you are in a noisy work environment or are using loud equipment, like power drills or lawn mowers.

Understanding the levels of hearing loss will motivate you to keep your ears protected. If you want a healthy ‘ear’ life, follow the tips above.

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