Degrees of Hearing Loss
Between the two extremes of hearing well and hearing nothing, there are many degrees of hearing loss. The degree of hearing loss varies from person to person. The terms used to describe the degree of hearing loss are mild, moderate, moderately severe, severe and profound. Most hearing losses are mild to moderate.
- Mild hearing loss: unable to hear soft sounds, difficulty understanding speech clearly in noisy environments.
- Moderate hearing loss: unable to hear soft and moderately loud sounds, considerable difficulty understanding speech, particularly with background noise.
- Severe hearing loss: some loud sounds are audible but communication without a hearing instrument is impossible.
- Profound hearing loss: some extremely loud sounds are audible but communication without a hearing instrument is impossible.
A hearing test performed by an audiologist can accurately determine your type and degree of hearing loss. Because of the high prevalence of hearing loss in older adults, adults over the age of 50 should include a hearing test as part of their yearly checkup.
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