What Are The Different Types And Degrees Of Hearing Loss?
Hearing loss is one of the most common health conditions in the US today. It affects millions of Americans, and unfortunately, that number is due to rise unless we work together to educate, raise awareness, and provide accessible hearing healthcare.
Our hearing progresses through different stages of hearing loss. Partnering with an audiologist early on can address your current challenges and slow the progression of an existing hearing loss.
The stage at which your hearing loss is will determine our best course of action. We are equipped to help patients at any stage, but early prevention is the key to protecting your hearing for the long term.
What Is Hearing Loss?
In the very early stages of hearing loss, we consider any degree of hearing impairment outside of the normal range of hearing to be hearing loss. This is when the brain is not processing the signals it’s receiving; however, many things can cause this.
It also applies to individuals with normal hearing thresholds but difficulty understanding or processing speech. These people can usually adapt by reading lips, body language, and picking up on facial cues.
Different Categories Of Hearing Loss
Sensorineural Hearing Loss – This is a problem in your inner ear where the hair cells that help you hear are damaged. It can be caused by loud noise exposure or aging.
Conductive Hearing Loss – This type occurs when the hearing loss is caused by a problem in your middle ear, such as fluid or a problem with your hearing bones.
Mixed Hearing Loss – This is a combination of both of the above hearing loss conditions occurring at once. Some people start with one type and then develop the other over time.
High Frequency Hearing Loss – HFHL is not so much an issue related to amplification, more so the specific frequencies of sounds that can no longer be processed. Most consonants are high frequency sounds. S, h, f, and th are among those that are difficult to decipher with HFHL.
Bilateral Hearing Loss – This term refers to patients who have a hearing loss in both ears.
Congenital Hearing Loss – Congenital hearing loss is when hearing loss is present in your family history. Like many other conditions and diseases, when another family member has had a hearing loss, this can increase the likelihood of other family members developing it.
Different Degrees Of Hearing Loss
When we present the pure tones to your ears via headphones, anything between zero decibels and 20 decibels recorded within the frequency range is considered normal.
Anything between 20 and 35 decibels is considered a mild hearing loss in these frequencies.
Anywhere from 40 to 65 is considered a moderate hearing loss.
70 decibels to 90 decibels is considered a severe hearing loss.
90 to 110 is what’s known as a profound hearing loss.
What Treatments Address Hearing Loss?
Right now, our best weapons against hearing loss are prevention and prescription hearing aids.
Prevention requires education and awareness, which we work hard to bring to everyone in the Los Angeles area.
Hearing aids have come a long way in the past decade. They’re not big and clunky as they once were, and the features available now are astounding. Most can be programmed through an app on your phone and some are so small that they’re practically invisible.
Suspect You Have Some Degree Of Hearing Loss?
We recommend that everyone gets routine hearing assessments, even if you don’t have a problem with your hearing right now. It’s a great idea to register your hearing when it’s healthy so we can establish a benchmark which will make diagnosing any future problems much easier.
You can schedule your hearing assessment by filling out the form below or simply give us a call. As always, if you have any further questions, we’re only a phone call away.