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How much hearing loss requires a hearing aid?
Any challenge to enjoying clear and defined sound (audio) input is a health and well being issue, and deserves to be addressed.
Modern medicine and engineering have combined to produce technology that can be adapted to a range of hearing problems. It means it can potentially help even those with mild to moderate issues. Hearing aids are for anyone who finds that they struggle to hear sounds at certain levels, or that their audio input is unclear.
Measurement of hearing loss
The unit of measurement for sound is Decibels (dB) and hearing is often defined by the volume level you can reach without a hearing aid.
Medical professionals tend to group hearing loss into four levels:
Mild – this would mean you have difficulty hearing the quietest sounds – around 25 to 39 dB. This would be particularly noticeable if there is a lot of background noise.
Moderate – the level of sounds you would struggle to hear would be from 40 to 69 dB. This would make it a struggle to hear what people are saying to you.
Severe – this means that your level of hearing is around 70 to 94 dB. This is very noticeable, and would require lip reading, as people’s voices are below that range.
Profound – hearing loss that is extensive, and measured around 95 dB.
What does mild hearing loss actually mean?
The use of the word mild is sometimes a little misleading, as it implies that the condition is acceptable.
In fact, mild hearing loss can be very unpleasant and can cause considerable problems at work, when you are enjoying entertainment and socialising, and even daily life.
It can indicate problems with distinguishing individual sounds, inability to hear the complete range of sounds, having hearing loss on certain frequencies (like very low sounds) or something referred to as ‘listening fatigue’.
All of this warrants a consultation with a medical professional, who will be able to suggest a hearing aid that can help.
An aid to hear, not a sign of deafness
The key word is aid. It is a misconception that these incredibly versatile devices are to treat deafness. They are in fact a support system, a way of addressing a wide range problems with hearing.
If you need an aid to be able to enjoy the full spectrum of audio stimulation, then it can be an important step forward to boosting your sense of well being and your ability to live life to the full.
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