Any level of hearing loss can be frustrating and even devastating, but it’s important to understand the different degrees of hearing loss in order to make a game plan for moving forward. Here are the 4 degrees of hearing loss and some information on how to get your hearing tested to determine what degree of hearing loss you are experiencing.
1. Mild Loss
The least severe of the 4 degrees, mild hearing loss is typically diagnosed when you have difficulty hearing certain sounds when background noise is present. With this degree of hearing loss, you may have difficulty hearing and understanding people who speak in softer tones, missing low-pitch noises. You’re also more likely to miss the sounds made when softer consonants are spoken. While a bit of an annoyance, this type of hearing loss doesn’t usually require the use of any type of hearing aid.
2. Moderate Loss
People experiencing moderate hearing loss are more likely to need a hearing aid to pick up most of the sounds around them. In addition to a loss of softer consonants, even louder vowels are oftentimes difficult to pick up. If you are experiencing moderate hearing loss, a hearing aid is probably the best solution to help restore your hearing.
3. Severe Loss
In addition to the loss of consonant and vowel sounds, when severe hearing loss is present, you probably struggle to hear speech without the help of a hearing aid. With the help of a powerful hearing aid, there is a chance your hearing can be restored enough to hear some sounds, however, it’s more likely you’ll need to rely on sign language and lip reading to communicate with others. Fortunately, you may still be able to hear some loud sounds, like a dog barking, a baby crying, and other high frequency noises.
4. Profound Loss
With profound hearing loss, your main method of communication is sign language and lip reading. While you may be able to hear very loud sounds, such as an airplane, speech is typically completely inaudible.
Test Your Hearing Today
If you suspect you’re experiencing hearing loss of any kind, it’s important to seek medical attention right away. Try taking an online hearing test to gauge the degree of hearing loss present, then follow up with your healthcare provider or a local audiologist for further testing. An audiologist can diagnose your condition, and then develop a plan to help you move forward and restore your hearing, or help give you the tools necessary to adapt to life without it.
You may be experiencing hearing loss, but there is still hope. Contact an audiologist today to learn more and have your hearing evaluated by a professional.