Determining the Severity of Hearing Loss

Since hearing loss can occur both gradually or as the result of a single traumatic event, there are varying degrees used to measure its severity. To determine the degree of hearing loss, the patient’s ability to comprehend speech, as well as the lowest decibel level necessary to surpass the hearing threshold, are tested.

Self-diagnosing a hearing loss can be risky and may lead to further complications, but the following information provides an overview of the different and their impact on your daily life.

The Six Degrees of Hearing Loss

Minimal (16-25 dB threshold)

Those with minimal hearing loss likely do not even recognize they might have a problem. At this level, hearing is only compromised in the presence of very quiet speech, usually at a distance. In some cases, environmental noise may also make speech difficult to understand.

Mild (26-40 dB threshold)

You may have mild hearing loss if you find yourself struggling to understand the “inside voices” of those around you, especially in a noisy room such as a restaurant. At this level, people often think others are to blame for mumbling or speaking too softly. Since this type of hearing loss is more of an annoyance than a serious obstacle, many cases are left undiagnosed and become more severe over time.

Moderate (41-55 dB threshold)

Once you have reached this level, your hearing loss will have become a regular source of frustration and conflict among you and your loved ones. Environmental noise can be disruptive and irritating, while most speech will seem distorted even when the listening space is quiet. Without hearing aids like those offered by Rexton, most everyday sounds won’t be audible if they aren’t at what most people would consider a high volume.

Moderate to Severe (56-70 dB threshold)

At the moderate to severe level, only face-to-face communication will be effective and you’ll probably rely on reading visual cues such as body language and lip movements. If you are communicating with a group of people, speech will likely become hard to isolate. After some time, straining to hear those around you can lead to mental fatigue, which has been linked to an increased risk for dementia and other cognitive disorders.

Severe (71-90 dB threshold)

Severe hearing loss makes average conversations nearly impossible to hear, and in some cases loud clarifications or repeated statements will still be confusing. Being fitted with a premium Rexton product may help prevent the present hearing loss from worsening, but more serious treatment such as communication therapy may be required.

Profound (91+ dB threshold)

With a threshold of at least 91 decibels, those with profound hearing loss are almost entirely incapable of hearing on their own. Only extremely loud sounds such as jet engines, chainsaws, and screams may be heard at this level. Unfortunately, a profound hearing loss is often only treatable through an invasive surgery such as a cochlear implant.

Don’t wait for hearing loss to worsen—get help today

Early intervention is the best way to treat hearing loss and prevent future complications. Untreated hearing loss has been linked to an increased risk of depression, dizziness, memory loss, and more. For this reason, you may be putting yourself at risk by avoiding consultation even if you think you can deal with your hearing loss. For more information on how to find a hearing health professional in your area who can prescribe a set of Rexton hearing aids, please click here.