Hearing loss is grouped into the following categories: mild, moderate, severe, severe-to-profound, and profound. To determine the degree of hearing loss a person has, their hearing care professional will conduct several hearing tests.
Decibels (dB) are the unit used to measure the intensity of sounds. Hearing loss is categorised based on the minimum threshold, measured in dB, that an individual can detect. Below is a table that explains the various degrees – or categories – of hearing loss, typical cutoff points (in dB), along with potential obstacles an individual may encounter. These threshold range values are general guidelines, however. Exact ranges per category may differ slightly per clinician.
It’s important to note that not all hearing loss — even two of the same degree — are the same. Two individuals with the same loss (e.g., mild hearing loss) may encounter experiences that are vastly different. Additionally, a mild hearing loss does not imply mild hearing or communication difficulties.
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