What Are the Different Levels of Hearing Loss?
Are you beginning to suspect that you or one of your loved ones might have a hearing loss? If you can’t understand what people are saying on the phone or ask people to repeat themselves often, you may have a sign of hearing loss.
As technology advances and developments occur in medicine, people have more options. You might be wondering what the different levels of hearing loss are.
There are many types of it, so it’s essential to know how to protect your hearing and what to do if it’s too late. Keep reading for all the information you need. You will also learn the options that exist for people with hearing problems.
Mild hearing loss is usually defined as a loss of hearing between 25 and 40 decibels, or dB. Hearing loss at this level can make it hard to hear soft-spoken individuals, focus in noisy environments, or understand conversational speech.
It is typically broken into four types. It includes conductive, sensorineural, mixed hearing loss, and central auditory processing disorder.
This occurs when sound is not conducted through the outer or middle ear. This type of hearing impairment can range from mild to severe, depending on how much of the sound is blocked from making it through the necessary channels of the ear. Both environmental and medical issues can bring on this type of hearing loss.
With proper medical attention, many cases of conductive hearing loss can be managed and improved.
Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) is usually caused by damage to the delicate hair cells of the inner ear or damaged auditory nerve pathways. An individual suffering from different types of hearing problems may require hearing aids or assistance such as a sign language interpreter.
A hearing aid is a device used to amplify sound. It makes it easier to comprehend speech in individuals with mild to severe hearing loss.
Mixed hearing loss occurs when a conductive and sensorineural component is present in the same ear. It can have various combinations of age-related hearing loss and environmental noise exposure. Depending on the severity, the impact on a person’s ability to hear affects their quality of life, from normal everyday activities to the ability to interact with others.
People with mixed hearing loss may need the use of a combination of hearing aids, cochlear implants, and audiological rehabilitation to maximize the hearing they have.
Central Auditory Processing Disorder
CAPD is a disorder that affects how your brain processes sound, regardless of your level of hearing. Symptoms of CAPD include difficulty understanding verbal instructions and difficulty understanding noise words. It also includes trouble following multiple conversations in a busy room.
CAPD can also occur in individuals with normal hearing. The impact and strategies to treat it depend on the individual’s level of impairment. Treatment involves strategies to address understanding, memory, and problem-solving.
Moderate is classified as a hearing loss of between 40 and 69 dB. Two different types of it are Sloping Hearing Loss and Flattened Hearing Loss.
Sloping Hearing Loss is determined by increasing the frequency of the sound. Flattened Hearing Loss is determined by a smaller but even decrease in hearing across all sound frequencies.
With this, relying on both speech and nonverbal cues to understand information becomes more difficult. In some cases, surgery to treat this medical issue might be needed.
It is a hearing loss of 70 dB or more at either low, mid, or high frequencies. This level range from being unable to hear anything at all at the affected frequency. Then, to be able to listen to tones at a particular frequency but not discern what is being said.
It can be either conductive or sensorineural. Hearing aids or cochlear implants often assist with severe hearing loss.
Profound deafness is the most severe type of hearing loss and is considered total deafness. A wide variety of conditions can cause it. It includes genetic defects, physical impairments, prolonged exposure to loud noises, use of certain medications, or complications from illnesses or diseases.
Depending on the type of impairment, a person with profound hearing loss may be unable to detect any sound or may detect only very faint sounds. People with this hearing impairment usually rely on assistive devices such as cochlear implants to help them hear better. Also, they may also speech therapy, as well as other types of help to be able to communicate with others.
Common Signs and Symptoms
Common signs and symptoms of each level of hearing loss can include difficulty understanding speech and complications in hearing people speaking at a distance. It also can be difficult to follow conversations with more than one person. It also includes hardship in understanding a telephone conversation and problems hearing everyday sounds,
One may also experience tinnitus. Tinnitus condition is a condition where a person experiences a ringing noise in their ears. It is caused by disrupting certain parts of the inner ear, such as the cochlea, that are responsible for processing sound.
It is also associated with prolonged exposure to loud noises. It can be through the use of headphones.
Levels of Hearing Loss That You Must Know
There are different levels of hearing loss and classifications. Moreover, detection and treatment are essential to ensure the excellent hearing ability. All individuals should ensure that their hearing is monitored and seek medical care when experiencing difficulties in hearing.
If you or a loved one suspect hearing loss, seek help for an evaluation today!
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