Understanding Hearing Loss
According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, approximately 48 million Americans (20 percent) report some degree of hearing loss. This statistic means that most of us know someone or will soon encounter someone with hearing loss, or develop hearing loss ourselves.
How is hearing loss measured?
Hearing loss is measured in decibels (dB) at multiple frequencies (Hz), typically 250-8000 Hz. Tones of varying volume and varying frequencies are presented through earphones. Responses are then charted on a graph called an audiogram.
Degrees of hearing loss:
- Mild hearing loss: hearing loss between 26 and 40 dB in the speech frequencies
- Moderate hearing loss: Individuals with this degree of hearing loss cannot hear sounds lower than 40-69 dB
- Severe hearing loss: Individuals with this degree of hearing loss cannot hear sound lower than 70-94 dB
- Profound hearing loss: Individuals with this degree of hearing loss cannot hear sound lower than 95 dB
What does a person with hearing loss really hear?
People with normal hearing – especially parents, spouses and friends of those with hearing loss – would often like to better understand what hearing loss sounds like. Hearing loss comes in varying degrees and forms so simply blocking out all sound won’t provide the right information. To really understand the nature of hearing loss, you have to experience the loss of both volume as well as specific sounds.
Click the link below to hear what hearing loss sounds like in different environments.
If you or a loved one would like a comprehensive hearing evaluation, please contact our office, Triangle Hearing Services, at 919-636-3006.