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Turning Down the Noise on the Degrees of Hearing Loss

Hearing Loss

Turn down the noise and get a clear understanding on the degrees of hearing loss. Contact North Shore Hearing P.C. today to schedule a free hearing screening.

The degrees of hearing loss are dependent upon an individual’s ability to hear sounds at different decibels hearing level (dBHL). During an audiogram or baseline hearing test, the degrees of and types of hearing loss are tested by playing soft sounds at varying pitches. Some pitches may highlight a greater degree of hearing loss than others.

For instance, a bird chirping may ring through clearly, while whispering voices cannot be detected. The results of these tests will determine the severity of the hearing loss, which can range from mild to profound hearing loss.

By looking at both the degrees of hearing loss and types of hearing loss, your audiologist at North Shore Hearing P.C. will be able to determine the best hearing aid solution for you. Continue reading to learn more about both the degrees of hearing loss and types of hearing loss.

The Four Degrees of Hearing Loss

For adults, the range for normal hearing is between -10 and 20 dBHL. Individuals with normal hearing can detect soft sounds in a room, like whispers, dripping water, or tapping. People should not be exposed to sounds greater than 85 dB because it can damage or hurt the ear over long periods of time. To give you a better idea of the sound scale, the sound of an ambulance is around 120 dB and the sound of rainfall is about 45 dB.

Mild Hearing Loss

Those with mild hearing loss can hear a quiet sound between 25 and 40 dB. They may not completely follow conversations, especially when the other party is speaking softly or when conversations are taking place in environments with loud surroundings. People with mild hearing loss may repeat themselves on occasion.

Moderate Hearing Loss

Moderate hearing loss allows the softest sounds to be heard between 41 and 70 dB. Most individuals with moderate hearing loss require a hearing aid to maintain conversations, but can hear a little without them. Vowel sounds get harder to hear and volumes on phones or televisions may need to be turned up frequently.

Severe Hearing Loss

Individuals that suffer from severe hearing loss may not be able to understand conversations any longer. They may rely slightly on lip-reading or sign language. The quietest sound those with severe hearing may be able to hear is between 71 and 90 dB. Severe hearing loss may require the use of hearing aid for regular functioning and hearing.

Profound Hearing Loss

Profound hearing loss occurs when sounds can only be heard at 91 dB or greater. People with profound hearing loss require a hearing aid device or cochlear implant. These individuals may also use lip reading and sign language. Without one of these devices, nothing at a regular sound level can be heard – not even conversations.

What Is a Hearing Threshold?

The hearing threshold is defined the level of sound below which an individual's ear becomes unable to detect sound. For example, the reference level for adults with no hearing loss is anywhere between 0- 25. Anything above 25 dB would indicate mild, moderate, moderately severe, severe, or profound hearing loss. On the other hand, children with no hearing loss would have a hearing threshold between 0- 15 dB.

A threshold shift is explained as the increase in the hearing threshold for certain frequencies of sound. Audiologists use an audiogram to graph an individual's hearing threshold. The audiogram plots the hearing threshold relative to an average individual's hearing.

Since everyone's hearing may be different, it's imperative to have a baseline hearing test to determine whether abnormalities exist. The sooner you have a baseline hearing test the better. These tests can detect and catch problems earlier, which will help you avoid bigger problems down the road.

Determining the Types of Hearing Loss

Adults and children have different decibels for which they are tested while checking for degree of hearing loss. An audiologist or medical physician can check hearing and test for the degree of hearing loss. Afterwards, the audiologist uses the information from the audiogram to determine the best solution for the type of hearing loss. The most common types of hearing loss include:

  • Genetic hearing loss
  • Hearing loss caused by a medical condition
  • Injury-related hearing loss

Contact North Shore Hearing P.C. for a Free Hearing Screening

Unlike big box stores that simply sell hearing aids, the professionals at North Shore Hearing P.C. are your hearing and auditory specialists. We offer cutting-edge hearing aid solutions for both adults and children. All of our hearing solutions are fully customized to fit your individual lifestyle, preferences, and needs. Best of all, we offer free hearing screenings to determine the degree and type of hearing loss.

Whether you don’t want to miss dancing at your daughter’s wedding or simply want to keep up with dinner conversations – we can help!

Contact the licensed specialists at North Shore Hearing P.C. today to schedule your appointment. Call us at (631) 403-4885 or complete the Online Contact Form.​

Diane Faulknor, MA, CCC/A

After 18 years of experience in the field of audiology and hearing aid dispensing, I felt it was time to start my own practice which has led to the creation of North Shore Hearing, P.C. I take pride in the care I provide for my patients as hearing is not just a medical issues we need to deal with, but also the social and lifestyle ramifications that people with poor hearing live with on a day-to-day basis. Based on not only your hearing loss, but also the type of lifestyle you lead, we'll work together to fit you with the most appropriate hearing aid available in today's marketplace.

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