How To Read A Hearing Loss Chart
If you feel that you or a loved one is suffering from hearing loss, you’ll want to use a hearing loss chart to determine the severity. This will enable you to get the necessary help so you don’t sustain further damage.
Hearing Loss Severity
The extent of hearing loss is measured with two methods, which are pitch and loudness. Pitch involves the frequencies which cause hearing difficulty, while loudness determines how loud a sound must be so that a person can detect it.
- Normal hearing is rated at ≤25 dB.
- Mild loss of hearing occurs between 26 to 50 dB. At this point, conversations which are quiet and soft will be difficult to comprehend, especially if background noise is present.
- Moderate loss of hearing occurs between 41 to 60 dB. It will be difficult to hear sounds coming from vacuum cleaners and televisions, and radios or computers must be turned up higher in order to hear well.
- Severe loss of hearing occurs between 61 to 80 dB. Those with hearing this compromised will have problems with their speech and especially in group discussions, and comprehension will no longer be possible without some form of amplification.
- Profound loss of hearing occurs at ≥81 dB, and constitutes deafness. At this point, it will be either impossible or very difficult to hear the sound even with amplified
Audiograms are charts or graphs which showcase hearing evaluation results. It consists of a Y-axis and X-axis. The Y-axis demonstrates the noise level which increases when you move downward along the graph. The graph points manifest how loud sounds must be so that you can detect them at every pitch.
The X-axis demonstrates various sound pitches which were played during a test. It is arranged similarly to piano keys. Lower-pitched noises can be seen to the left while higher-pitched noises can be seen to the right. Red colored circles are meant to symbolize the right ear while blue colored crosses are used to symbolize the left ear.
The Earlier You Get Treated for Hearing Loss, the Better
Gradual loss of hearing is a common part of aging, but can also occur in people that are younger, even infants. If left unaddressed it can become a serious problem due to isolation and reduced mental stimulation. However, research shows that only one in four people who would benefit from using a hearing aid actually have them.
Hearing devices are most effective for those who have moderate to profound loss. However, it must be emphasized that loss of hearing is a complex health issue and as such will be unique to each individual, and may also change as time passes.The good news is that there are simple tests you can take from the comfort of your own home to determine the quality of your hearing, and if your evaluation results are not as good as you hoped, you’ll want to visit an audiologist to determine the source of the loss and get a hearing device which can remedy it.