Audiogram and Degrees of Hearing Loss

Pick any two people experiencing hearing loss, and chances are, their needs are very different. That’s because hearing loss is different for every individual, taking into account both sound frequencies and decibels. Your hearing isn’t so much a “percentage of loss” as it is an ability to hear a range of situations.

audiogram and degree of hearing loss

Example of audiogram with stage of loss, phonemes and speech banana.

There are four general degrees of hearing loss:

  • Mild (26 – 40 dB HL threshold)

With mild hearing loss, it’s most difficult to hear soft speech or distinguish sounds when there is background noise.

  • Moderate (41 – 70 dB HL threshold)

Moderate hearing loss makes it difficult to hear conversations, especially when there is a background noise. The TV or radio may need to be turned up to be heard clearly.

Prescription Hearing Aids are highly recommended for this stage of hearing loss, as the user will get used to the sound of devices better, compared to severe and profound losses.

  • Severe (71 – 90 dB HL threshold)

With severe hearing loss, normal conversations are not audible. Loud speech may also be difficult to hear or understand. People with severe hearing loss are only able to hear when speech is amplified – by shouting, turning up volume, or with prescription hearing aids.

  • Profound (91 to 120 dB HL)

People with profound hearing loss may have difficulty understanding even amplified speech. Super power hearing aids, in the form of BTE is the best option for this stage of loss.

  • No Response ( at 120dB HL)

If the person cannot hear at 120dB, prescription hearing aids are no longer sufficient. Hearing implants are recommended instead.

It is very important for adults older than 50 years old to get annual hearing test, and put on prescription hearing aids when the loss is at moderate levels. Contact us below:

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