Just like the shape of the external ear varies from one person to another, the severity of hearing loss suffered also varies from one person to another, it’s a serious health hazard. The measurement of hearing loss is expressed in decibels (dB). It indicates the softest sound level audible to your ears. Based on this measurement, the seriousness of hearing loss is classified into different categories. As per the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), the normal hearing level ranges from -10 to 15 decibels. Mentioned below are the various degrees of hearing loss:
Minimal or Slight hearing loss
This means an individual has difficulty in hearing sounds ranging from 16 to 25 dB. Examples of sounds within this decibel range include whispers and falling of leaves. People suffering from this degree of hearing loss often find it tough to understand speech spoken softly from a distance.
Mild Hearing Loss
This condition refers to an individual’s inability to hear sounds in the range of 26 to 40 dB. Examples of sounds that can be classified under this range include the chirping of birds and the sound created by a stream. People with this degree of hearing loss face difficulty to comprehend conversation carried out softly, such as whispering. Individuals with this degree of hearing loss may need the help of a hearing device.
Moderate Hearing Loss
It is the level at which a person cannot hear sounds ranging from 41 to 55 dB. Examples of sounds falling under this range include conversations taking place at home or at traffic signals. If the hearing test of an individual shows moderate hearing loss, it means the person will have a problem in comprehending normal speech. A hearing device is a necessity for people with this degree of hearing loss.
Moderately Severe Hearing Loss
This condition specifies that an individual is unable to hear sounds ranging from 56 to 70 dB. Examples of sounds included under this range are that of a shower, a vacuum cleaner, or an air conditioner placed at 100 feet distance. A person with this level of hearing loss cannot understand speeches that are not loud or even loud speeches having background noise. Such people require the help of hearing devices.
Severe Hearing Loss
This type of hearing loss occurs when a person cannot hear sounds ranging from 71 to 90 dB. Examples of sounds in this range include that of a truck passing by, an alarm clock, or the normal volume of television in a living room. For an individual suffering from this degree of hearing loss, it is difficult to hear loud speech. A hearing device made for severe hearing loss is necessary for this condition.
Profound Hearing Loss
This one indicates that a person doesn’t have the ability to hear sounds that are 91 dB or higher. Examples of sounds in this category include that at loud music concerts, the landing of aircraft, and speeding motorcycle. An individual with this seriousness of hearing loss cannot hear loud speech easily or at times is unable to hear such speech at all. Hearing devices created for profound hearing loss are needed under this condition.