Hearing loss is a health issue that many Canadians struggle with. Studies have shown that an estimated 54% of Canadians aged from 70 to 79 have at least mild hearing loss in the high-frequency range. But do all cases of hearing loss require a hearing aid? And at what level of hearing loss should I consider getting a hearing aid?
The Five Levels of Hearing Loss
The Hearing Health Foundation recognizes five degrees of hearing loss. They are:
- Mild Hearing Loss is the most common level of hearing loss. Those experiencing mild hearing loss may have difficult hearing soft-spoken people or young children. They tend to have more difficult with softer consonant sounds, but are generally able to hear more intense vowel sounds. Compared to someone with typical hearing, mild hearing loss would be comparable to putting fingers in your ears. The hearing threshold for mild hearing loss is between 26-40 dB.
- Moderate Hearing Loss can cause people to have difficulty understanding speech, including louder vowel sounds. People suffering from moderate hearing loss tend to require higher volumes to hear the TV and radio. People with moderate hearing loss often comment that they can hear without hearing aids, but they can’t always understand what is being said. The hearing threshold for moderate hearing loss is between 41-60 dB.
- Moderately Severe Hearing Loss makes speech nearly inaudible to the listener. Without hearing aids, understanding what is said is nearly impossible. The hearing threshold for moderately severe hearing loss is between 60-70 dB.
- Severe Hearing Loss hearing loss means that without hearing aids, speech is completely inaudible. People with severe hearing loss will also be unlikely to hear louder sounds such as a vacuum cleaner while it is operating. The hearing threshold for severe hearing loss is between 71-90 dB.
- Profound Hearing Loss is the highest level of hearing loss. Individuals suffering from profound hearing loss may be unable to hear extremely loud sounds like airplane engines, fire alarms, or traffic. The hearing threshold for profound hearing loss is 91 dB and above.
The Hearing Health Foundation recommends that those suffering from moderate hearing loss and beyond should use hearing aids. Hearing aids can make life easier by making it possible to follow conversations, be aware of your surroundings, and remove the strain of hearing in your daily life.
How do I Find Out the Severity of My Hearing Loss?
If you suspect that you might have hearing loss but are unsure about the extent, the only way to know for sure is to get a hearing test done by an expert Audiologist or RHIP. At NexGen Hearing, we offer Free Hearing Tests to help determine if you require hearing aids. The hearing test will determine what your level of hearing loss is in decibels as well as frequency. Once you have a clear understanding of the extent of your hearing loss, your RHIP or Audiologist will guide you to the right hearing aid solution. Contact us today to get your hearing tested!