According to the website, Medicalnewstoday, “Hearing impairment, deafness, or hearing loss refers to the total or partial inability to hear sounds.”
Although medical experts consider this problem to be a significant health concern around the world, the sufferers are substantial contributors to the illness. They fail to realize that just like every illness, hearing loss occurs gradually and goes through different levels/stages before maturing to total deafness.
Fortunately, this article covers the levels of hearing loss to educate you on things to look out for to prevent getting deaf any time soon.
Let’s get started.
Mild Hearing Loss
According to medical experts, deafness often begins with a mild hearing loss allowing the sufferers only to hear quiet sounds between the range of 25 to 40 dB. This sound level means they cannot hear the soft ticking of a clock or the continuous dripping of a faucet.
Fortunately, people with mild hearing loss can still keep a one-on-one conversation with you but will find it challenging to catch every uttered word in a noisy environment. Also, hearing aids can rectify this level of hearing loss and amplify the sound going into the ear for better hearing.
If left untreated, mild hearing loss will worsen and become what medical experts call “Moderate Hearing Loss” where the sufferer can only hear sounds within 40 to 70 dB. People in this category will find it relatively difficult to identify every word in a conversation, listen to doorbells, or a telephone ringing.
Luckily, the sufferer can improve his/her listening ability in this phase by using a middle ear implant or hearing aid.
Severe Hearing Loss
If a person with moderate hearing loss leaves his condition unattended, it gradually worsens and leads to Severe Hearing Loss which prevents the sufferer from following a normal one-on-one conversation without hearing aids. If you eventually get to this stage, then things are taking the turn for the worst.
Someone in this level of hearing loss can only hear sounds between 75 to 90 dB range which means they won’t hear the TV, phone ringing, people talking, and almost every sound. Unfortunately, hearing aids might prove ineffective in some cases, thus forcing the sufferer to communicate via a dictionary or any other non-verbal method.
However, to medically improve the listening ability of someone with severe hearing loss, the sufferer must receive middle ear or cochlear implants to rectify the problem adequately.
Profound Hearing Loss
The final level to deafness and the most significant of all is when a sufferer has Profound Hearing Loss. People in this range of hearing loss can only hear sounds within 90 to 120 dB.
This range means that sounds like a chain saw, fire alarms, lawnmower, aeroplane engines, police sirens, loud music, and others won’t even register in their brains. Just like Severe Hearing Loss, a hearing aid is the most ineffective remedy for this problem.
Sufferers will have to rely on non-verbal methods to communicate, like sign language, lip-reading, dictionary, gestures, or other visual cues. However, sign language has always been the most used method for centuries, and I recommend taking beginner classes to learn it gradually.
The most popular solution for Profound Hearing Loss is for the sufferer to have a cochlear implant, which improves an individual’s ability to hear and understand verbally spoken words after surgery and rehabilitation.
Now that we’ve learned about the stages/levels of hearing loss, please Understand that although this article is rich in well-researched content, it’s not a substitute for professional/medical advice.
Please consult your otolaryngologist or a certified medical expert before trying anything new.
If you or a friend already suffers from hearing loss and would like to learn Sign Language and other ways to communicate effectively, here’s a list of apps I stumbled upon while doing my research.
Check the list and find an app that’s more to your liking. Some of these tools contain videos and written tutorials to aid in the speedy learning of the language.