Understanding Hearing Loss
A Helpful Guide to Understanding Hearing Loss
Did you know that hearing loss is experienced by more than 31 million Americans? For some, it is mild, while for others, it is moderate. Whatever level of loss you are experiencing, you are certainly not alone. As shocking as this statistic may be to most, experts suggest that it will continue to rise significantly over the next decade. In fact, it will increase at a faster rate than what the population grows at.
What is Degree of Hearing Loss?
If you have heard the term degree of hearing loss, you are probably wondering what exactly it is. Simply put, it refers to how severe hearing loss is. The numbers used are actually representing the softest intensity, or threshold, at which you naturally perceive sound.
Degree of Hearing Loss Classification System
- Normal - 10 to 15 dBHL
- Slight - 16 to 25 dBHL
- Mild - 26 to 40 dBHL
- Moderate - 41 to 55 dBHL
- Moderately - 56 to 70 dBHL
- Severe - 71 to 90 dBHL
- Profound - 91 to 120 dBHL
There are a few different ways that you may be presented with hearing loss, including:
- Presbycusis - This is hearing loss that comes naturally due to aging.
- Environmental - One can either be exposed one time to a large sound or it can be the result of dealing with repeated sounds over a lengthy period of time. This is commonly referred to as noise-induced hearing loss.
Are You Experiencing Hearing Loss?
Most people do experience symptoms of hearing loss, but they are so mild that they don’t really pay them much attention. Even if the symptoms progress slowly, you may become accustomed to the loss and pass it off as normal. Of course, this isn’t always the case though. Other people experience hearing loss quite quickly; this always demands a doctor’s appointment. Below are signs to watch for:
- You feel as though people around you are always mumbling.
- Your ears ring.
- You answer questions inappropriately because you didn’t hear or understand what was asked.
- People always need to repeat themselves for you.
- Women and children are especially difficult for you to hear.
- You find yourself trying to read lips of people while they are talking.
It should also be noted that hearing loss isn’t always due to aging or environment; sometimes it is excessive amounts of wax buildup or a medical condition. These are often conditions that can be treated by your physician. If you think your hearing loss could be the result of a medical condition, speak with your physician today.