Facts about Hearing Loss
Individuals with hearing loss may be limited in daily oral communication.
Here are some facts about hearing loss and hearing aids (NIDCD/NIH)
- 36 million (or 17%) adult population in the USA report some degree of hearing loss.
- Less than 20% of those with hearing loss who might benefit from treatment actually seek for help.
- Most hearing aid users had lived with hearing loss for 10+ years, and waited until it progressed to moderate‐to‐severe levels before seeking professional help for hearing aid fitting.
Types of Hearing Loss
Conductive: Middle ear pathology
Sensorineural: Damage at the inner ear (cochlea)
Mixed: Both cochlear damage & outer/middle ear pathology
Hearing Loss Severity
The severity of a hearing loss is ranked according to the additional intensity above a nominal threshold that a sound must be before being detected by an individual; it is measured in decibels of hearing loss, or dB HL. Hearing loss may be ranked as slight, mild, moderate, moderately severe, severe or profound as defined below :
- 0 ‐ 20 dB HL: Within normal limits (WNL)
- Between 16 and 25 dB HL : Slight
- 20‐40 dB HL: Mild
- for adults: between 26 and 40 dB HL
- for children: between 20 and 40 dB HL
- 40‐70 dB HL: Moderate :
- Moderate: between 41 and 54 dB HL
- Moderately severe: between 55 and 70 dB HL
- 70‐90 dB HL: Severe
- > 90 dB HL: Profound
Hearing loss may affect one or both of your ears. If both of your ears are affected, then the other one may be more affected than the other. Thus it is possible, for example, to have normal hearing in one ear and none at all in the other, or to have mild hearing loss in one ear and moderate hearing loss in the other.
You should now understand the Facts about Hearing Loss.