About hearing loss
A person’s hearing loss can be categorized by audiologists who measure Hearing Level (HL). This is the amount of hearing loss relative to normal hearing for the person’s age and sex. Hearing levels are tested at standard 'audiometric' frequencies (e.g. 250, 500, 1000, 2000, 4000 Hz). Based on this test, hearing loss can be categorized as:
• Mild hearing loss:
Hearing loss of 20 to 40 dB HL. Speech is perceived in a normal voice, but is difficult to perceive in a low or distant voice. Listening in noisy environments starts to be problematic. However, the majority of familiar sounds are still perceived.
• Moderate hearing loss
Hearing loss of 40 to 70 dB HL (can be type I, II or III). Speech is perceived if the voice is raised. The subject understands better if he can see the speaker. Some familiar sounds are still perceived.
• Severe hearing loss
Hearing loss of 70 to 90 dB HL (can be type I, II or III). Speech is perceived only with a loud voice near the ear and only loud sounds are perceived.
• Profound hearing loss
Hearing loss of 90 to 120 dB HL (can be of type I, II or III). Speech is no longer perceived at all. Only very loud sounds are perceived.
• Total deafness or cophosis
Above 120 dB HL nothing is perceived.
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