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Mild, moderate, severe and profound hearing loss

A person’s hearing loss is categorised as being either mild, moderate, severe or profound. Audiologists and other hearing professionals use these terms; the four types of hearing loss are defined as follows:

  • Mild means that the person is unable to hear sounds between 20dB and 40dB
  • Moderate means that the person is unable to hear sounds between 41dB and 70dB
  • Severe means that the person is unable to hear sounds between 71dB and 95dB
  • Profound means that the person is unable to hear sounds below 95dB

You can have a look at decibel levels of common sounds to get an idea of what sounds a person with each kind of loss will, or will not, be able to hear.

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25 comments
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  1. Hello,
    I stumbled on your web-site looking for help in trying to find a new hearing aid. I am having difficulty locating a new one with the same power version as the one I am wearing now. I really need help.

    Teresa

  2. Hi Teresa,

    Thanks for your comment, it has given me an idea. As far as I know there is no hearing-aid comparison website – a site that would allow you to see, for example, the power of an aid and maximum fitting range and so on. That’s something I’ll look into doing.

    You don’t say what kind of aid you have at the moment or where you have already looked. A good audiologist should be able to recommend an aid to suit your needs. If you need a lot of power then you are probably going to need a BTE model.

    Steve.

  3. [...] Mild means that the person is unable to hear sounds between 20dB and 40dB Moderate means that the person is unable to hear sounds between 41dB and 70dB Severe means that the person is unable to hear sounds between 71dB and 95dB Profound means that the person is unable to hear sounds below 95dB Mild, moderate, severe and profound hearing loss [...]

  4. what is the dB for normal?

  5. Decible. If I’m correct.

  6. Barbara Spurlock on November 4th 2009 at 10:11 pm :

    what is the dB for normal?

    do you mean what range? 20db and lower

  7. [...] The first classification you’ll often run into defines how severe a hearing loss is – this is almost always one of the first questions I’m asked by other HOH and Deaf people. Some people aren’t seriously affected by hearing loss, where others can’t hear anything except the most loudest of sounds. The clinical definitions are as follows:     (source: Deafness & Hearing Aids.net) [...]

  8. My daughter is 7. She has hearing loss 70 db in right ear while 80 db in left ear. Currently she is using siemens phoenix 213 in right year. Now I want to replace it with digital one. Can any body suggest me good digital aids in minimum budget.

  9. @Waheed

    I wore Starkey Destinys for many years and they were great – they are an older line from Starkey now and so will be cheaper.

    If your daughter is used to the Siemens aids then I might be a good idea to try and stick with Siemens. Different manufacturers have different “sound styles” and your daughter will recognise the sound of her current aids as being “normal” and so the new aids should sound as much like them as possible to make them easier to get used to.

    Have a look at this too, moving from analogue to digital takes a bit of time: http://www.deafness-and-hearingaids.net/2007/03/08/moving-from-analogue-to-digital-hearing-aids/

  10. Thanks for this nice information. I

  11. I have consulted to an audiologist who suggested that I have following options available with him within my budget:

    Digital/programable hearing aids from Siemens

    1. Siemens Prisma 2m+ 4 channels 85db

    2. Siemens 2vc+ 4 channels 100db

    3. Siemens 2 pro 4 channels 85db

    Can any body guide are these model sufficient to counter my daughter’s loss 80 db (right) 70 (left)

  12. [...] The first classification you’ll often run into defines how severe a hearing loss is – this is almost always one of the first questions I’m asked by other HOH and Deaf people. Some people aren’t seriously affected by hearing loss, where others can’t hear anything except the most loudest of sounds. The clinical definitions are as follows:     (source: Deafness & Hearing Aids.net) [...]

  13. [...] Esteem is not a cochlear implant. A CI is fitted to those with profound hearing loss and is fitted in the inner ear whereas the Esteem is for those with severe (or less) hearing loss [...]

  14. [...] Esteem is not a cochlear implant. A CI is fitted to those with profound hearing loss and is fitted in the inner ear whereas the Esteem is for those with severe (or less) hearing loss [...]

  15. i have severe profound hearing loss plus blind in one eye from retinal surgery. am i a good candidate for disability???

  16. Dear sir,
    My son vishal having sever profound loss in both ear ,
    so, sir by which hearing aids can he hear or some beneficial.

  17. Hi Im Michaela, I have moderate to severe hearing loss and wear a digital behind the ear hearing aid. I would love something smaller ( in the ear) but not sounding like they are suitable for my hearing loss, is there anything out there?

  18. -Im Tiaraa im 14 years old and i have been diagonost with mild-severe in my right ear & mild-modern in my right. I was recently told that within the next 10 years i should be completly deaf. I am scared but i know that everything is going to be okay. I have been scared of how people would respond to me after they see me with hearing aids. I guess i feel that my reputation would be messed with but its okay i guess i will find out who my TRUE friends are.

  19. @Tiaraa

    Good luck with your new hearing aids, you are definitely doing the right thing by wearing them. It’s certainly not a given that you will lose all your hearing in 10 years, it could take much, much longer than that and as hearing aid technology gets better all the time there might well be aids good enough to keep you hearing all your life. Don’t focus on what might happen in 10 years, make the most of the hearing you have right now.

    All the best,
    Steve

  20. I am 18 years old. I had mumps last January 13.. after few days.. i lost my right ear hearing. Profound sensorineural hearing loss was diagnosed..I was advised by the doctor to take steroids for 15 days. But it didnt work.. and now i need to undergo in Ear injection.. Is there a possibility that my normal ear will be infected? or somewhat like.. do i still have the chance to hear as normal in both ears? :OO It’s all sudden. that’s why i’m so bothered,

  21. Nyl,

    I’m afraid I have no idea, my own hearing loss was a gradual process of many years and not a sudden loss like yours. Good luck with your treatment, hope it works out for you. I can’t imagine how scary sudden hearing loss must be, I’ve had years to get used to not hearing but it’s all come in one day for you.

    All the best,
    Steve

  22. sir , my wife suffering from hearing loss in both of her ears. Audiologist diagnose it severe to pofound and recommend hearing aid “Siemens 2vc+” for her. what you suggest is it right for her hearing?

  23. Profound sensorineural hearing loss was diagnosed.Please send me your nice comments that Prisma 2vc+ will work properly in case of profound hearing loss or not.

  24. @Rocky

    Impossible for me to say, I’ve never seen your Wife’s audiogram and I am not a trained hearing aid dispenser. I couldn’t find any info on the “Prisma 2vc+” but other Siemens Prisma aids do have enough power for profound losses.

    Best thing you can do is try it out and return it if your wife is not happy with it. Make sure there is a trial period with a refund on offer if you Wife is not happy. That way, she has nothing to lose by giving it a go.

  25. Starkey Ignite 30 CIC model…is very good performance and it is latest technology for the year 2012 onwards..you won;t disappoint in it!!

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