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Degree of hearing loss

If you think that you might have some degree of hearing loss, you’re probably wondering how serious it is. Here you’ll find information about the different levels of hearing loss and how you can seek treatment, no matter what level of hearing loss you may have.

Compare degrees of hearing loss

The severity of your hearing loss is usually measured in two ways:

  1. Loudness: How loud does a sound need to be in order for you to hear it?
  2. Pitch: Which frequencies are difficult for you to hear?

Below are the main categories for hearing loss levels with examples of sounds that might be inaudible at a given level (based on their loudness and pitch.)

Level of hearing loss Decibel  Symptoms Sounds you are missing
Normal hearing ≤20 dB No perceived hearing loss symptoms No sounds missing
Mild hearing loss 21-40 dB Quiet and soft conversation and situations with background noise are difficult to understand Ticking clock
Moderate hearing loss 41-70 dB When you have a moderate hearing loss, the quietest sounds you can hear with your better ear are between 41 and 70 dB. Higher volume levels are required for radio and TV. Vacuum cleaner
Severe hearing loss 71-95 dB When you have a severe hearing loss, the quietest sounds you can hear with your better ear are between 71 and 95 dB. Difficulties with speech and group conversations, comprehension is impossible without amplification. Baby crying
Profound hearing loss ≥95 dB When you have a profound hearing loss, the quietest sounds you can hear with your better ear are 95 dB or more. Difficult or impossible to hear and understand amplified devices or speech. Aeroplanes

3 ways to understand the severity of your hearing loss

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Book a free hearing test
Get a free hearing test at a clinic near you to assess the severity of your hearing loss.
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Take the online hearing test
Our online hearing test will give you an idea of how well you can hear.
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Recognise hearing loss signs
Understanding the common signs of hearing loss will help with early detection.
Signs of hearing loss
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Online hearing test

Our free online hearing screening test only takes five minutes, and you'll get your results straightaway. Please fill in your contact information so we can send you the results. You must be 19 or over to book a hearing test.
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Reading an audiogram

An audiogram is a graph or chart that displays the results of your comprehensive hearing evaluation.

The X-axis shows the different pitches of the sounds that were played to you during your test. This axis is laid out like piano keys, where low-pitched sounds are on the left and higher pitches are towards the right.

The Y-axis shows the loudness which increases as you go down the graph. The points on the graph demonstrate how loud the sounds need to be in order for you to hear at each pitch test.

Circles (red) represent your right ear and crosses (blue) represent your left ear.

Book a free hearing test to receive your own audiogram results.

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Seek early treatment for hearing loss

Gradual hearing loss is fairly common in the ageing process. But this doesn’t mean that it should be ignored!

Since even mild hearing loss is associated with cognitive decline and other consequences of untreated hearing loss, all hearing loss should be treated with hearing aids or other treatment options.

Find a hearing clinic Hearing loss treatment

Treating all degrees of hearing loss

If you think you have hearing loss but you’ve been putting off getting a hearing aid, you’re not alone.

Only 1 in 4 people who could benefit from hearing devices actually use them

Taking that first step can be the hardest part, but seeking treatment as soon as possible is important. The Scripps Research Institute has found that hearing loss, when left undiagnosed or untreated, can get worse over time. Being proactive and seeking treatment in the early stages of hearing loss can have a positive impact on your current and long-term hearing health.

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5 steps to better hearing

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1. Know what the signs of hearing loss are
Signs of hearing loss
Book a free hearing test with Hidden Hearing today
2. Book a free hearing test at your local clinic
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3. Try a hearing aid for 60 risk-free days if we find a hearing loss
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4. Learn about different payment and protection plans
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5. Hear well and live well. Receive free, unlimited aftercare

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FAQ about hearing loss levels

Grace Sims
Grace Sims BSc, Audiologist and Mentor

Grace Sims completed her Bachelor of Science in Audiology at the University of Bristol and has previously worked in the ENT department at Southmead Hospital in Bristol. She joined Hidden Hearing in 2014 and is an audiologist at the Cheltenham clinic. She has been a practice educator for four years and is now a Hidden Hearing mentor.