What “Degree of Hearing Loss” Means


Only a Doctor of Audiology can accurately measure your personal degree of hearing loss so you can receive the right treatment.

Hearing Loss Can Affect Everyone in Different Ways

Just as you can have different amounts of vision loss, you can have different degrees of hearing loss, ranging from mild to profound. In addition, your hearing is measured across a range of pitches from low to high. And your degree of hearing loss can vary across pitches. For example, you may have increased hearing loss in the high pitches with minimal loss, or normal hearing in the low pitches. In fact, this is the most common configuration of hearing loss and is why you often can hear but can’t always understand what people are saying, since you are missing high-pitched speech sounds.

The degree of hearing loss is based on the audiometric thresholds that are measured during a comprehensive hearing test. Hearing is tested for low, middle, and high pitches for both the right and left ears and is plotted on a graph called an audiogram. The degrees of hearing loss vary from mild to severe and profound.

Your Doctor of Audiology will discuss the degrees of hearing loss across pitches in more depth with you following your hearing evaluation. Here is an example of an audiogram and degree of hearing loss that can be used:

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