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Recognize the Signs of Hearing Loss

Identifying the presence of hearing loss can be a nuanced process, and many individuals may not realize they have hearing issues until urged by concerned family members.

In most cases, hearing loss develops slowly over time, often due to factors like repeated exposure to loud noises at work or during hobbies, the natural aging process, or a combination of various influences.

Audiologist performing a hearing exam on a patient

Understanding Levels of Hearing Loss

Before delving into the signs of hearing loss, it's essential to grasp the levels of hearing impairment. Hearing loss is measured in decibels (dB) and is typically charted on an audiogram. For adults, the hearing ranges are categorized as follows:

  • Normal Hearing: 0-25 dB
  • Mild Hearing Loss: 26-40 dB
  • Moderate Hearing Loss: 41-55 dB
  • Moderately-Severe Hearing Loss: 56-70 dB
  • Severe Hearing Loss: 71-90 dB
  • Profound Hearing Loss: 91+ dB

Now that you're familiar with the numerical ranges, let's explore some common signs of hearing loss.

Signs of Different Hearing Loss Levels

Mild Hearing Loss:

Individuals with mild hearing loss usually hear well in quiet settings but may struggle with conversations in noisy environments or when not facing the speaker.

Moderate Hearing Loss:

Those with moderate hearing loss often perceive speech as muffled, frequently request others to repeat themselves, increase the volume of televisions, and rely on lip-reading. They may be unable to follow conversations without a hearing aid, leading to a potential withdrawal from social activities.

Severe Hearing Loss:

Severe hearing loss can make conversations nearly impossible without a hearing aid. However, some environmental sounds may still be audible.

Profound Hearing Loss:

Individuals with profound hearing loss typically cannot hear speech and only perceive minimal environmental sounds without the assistance of a hearing aid.

What Should You Do if You Suspect Hearing Loss?

Prioritizing your hearing health is essential for overall well-being. It's recommended to seek a comprehensive evaluation from a licensed audiologist. However, you can take a preliminary step by undergoing a hearing screening.

If you suspect you or someone you know may have hearing loss, consider taking our online Hearing Assessment.

Please note that the results of this hearing assessment are not intended to replace a diagnostic hearing test conducted by an audiologist. Remember that addressing hearing loss early can significantly improve your quality of life and overall health. Don't hesitate to take action if you suspect a hearing issue – you're not alone in this journey to better hearing!

Dr. Cindy MacManus explainingZepp Clarity's commitment to Veteran hearing

Heather Andrews, Au.D., CCC-A

Dr. Andrews received her doctorate in audiology from East Tennessee State University in 2016, and she has worked with many people of all ages to help improve their hearing and balance. She currently specializes in hearing aids and telehealth audiology. She believes that hearing aids and audiological care should be accessible to anyone who needs it, and she works hard to provide training and information on available technology and resources to help people make the most of their hearing.

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