Hearing loss isn’t one-size-fits-all; different people experience different degrees. And while mild hearing loss may only be the first degree above normal, that does not mean it can be taken lightly. Below is a look at what it means to be diagnosed with mild hearing loss.
Degrees of Hearing Loss
The degrees of hearing loss are broken down into seven levels: normal, mild, moderate, moderately severe, severe and profound.
Sounds are measured in decibels (dB). Those with normal hearing can detect sounds between 0-25 dB. Mild hearing loss occurs when you have trouble hearing sounds quieter than 25 dB. This may include conversations had at a whisper, dripping water, rustling leaves and birds chirping.
Mild hearing loss can affect your ability to hear both low- and high-frequency sounds, though most people with mild hearing loss have trouble with sounds that are high frequency.
Mild Hearing Loss and Communication
It is common for those with mild hearing loss to report being able to hear fine when in a quiet environment but have trouble when the background noise is present, which can happen if you arrive at Republique during the dinner rush.
While someone with mild hearing loss may have no trouble speaking with someone one-on-one, if their conversation partner turns away from them or if they are standing too far away, they may have trouble.
Causes of Mild Hearing Loss
The two most common causes of mild hearing loss are aging and exposure to noise. Additional causes include:
- Excess earwax.
- Ear infection.
- Bone abnormalities within the middle ear.
- Birth defects.
- Genetic conditions.
How to Treat Mild Hearing Loss
While you may be able to pretend everything is fine and get along okay without seeking treatment, experts do not recommend this. Most people with mild hearing loss can benefit from the use of a hearing aid. You and your audiologist will work together to determine which hearing aid will work best for your unique listening needs, budgetary constrictions and aesthetic preferences.
How to Prevent Mild Hearing Loss
The best treatment is prevention. While you may not be able to do anything to avoid getting older, you can protect your ears from exposure to loud sounds by wearing earplugs. You can purchase inexpensive disposable earplugs from your local pharmacy or opt for a custom-made pair from an audiologist to provide a better fit and more protection. To learn more about mild hearing loss or to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert, contact The House Institute Hearing Health Centers today.