Degrees of hearing loss

The amount of hearing loss someone maybe experiencing can be ranked as mild, moderate, severe or profound.

A man listenting to the audiologist

Hearing tests measure how much sound we can hear. There are many different types of tests and a clinic or health professional will carry out the best tests to assess you or your child’s hearing. The results of hearing tests can be shown on a chart called an audiogram.

Measuring your hearing helps to find the type of hearing problem you or your child might have and help your health professional suggest the best treatment options.

Hearing loss is measured in decibels hearing level (or dBHL). This number represents the softest level you or your child can hear. Hearing level can be measured for pure tone sounds, as well as for speech sounds, and can be reported for both ears (bilateral) or for each ear individually (unilateral).

The amount of hearing loss someone has is ranked as mild, moderate, severe, or profound.

  • Normal hearing
    You can hear quiet sounds down to 20 dBHL.
  • Mild hearing loss
    Hearing loss in your better ear between 25 - 39 dBHL.
    You have difficulty following speech in noisy situations.
  • Moderate hearing loss
    Hearing loss in your better ear between 40 - 69 dBHL
    You have difficulty following speech without a hearing aid.
  • Severe hearing loss
    Hearing loss in your better ear between 70 - 89 dBHL.
    Require powerful hearing aids or an implant.
  • Profound hearing loss
    Hearing loss in your better ear from 90 dBHL.
    You need to rely mainly on lip-reading and/or sign language, or an implant.

If you think you or your child have a hearing problem, please contact your nearest clinic or a health professional.

Disclaimer

Please seek advice from your medical practitioner or health professional about treatments for hearing loss. They will be able to advise on a suitable solution for the hearing loss condition. All products should be used only as directed by your medical practitioner or health professional. 

Not all products are available in all countries. Please contact your local Cochlear representative.