Mild hearing loss can sometimes go unnoticed at first. However, its impacts on those suffering from this condition can be considerable. Before diagnosis and treatment, mild hearing loss can impact our social lives, well-being and quality of life.
Mild hearing loss is a form of hearing loss and is categorised as a condition in which patients find it difficult to hear certain low-decibel sounds. Often people have difficulty hearing more subtle noises such as whispering, distant conversation, the hum of an appliance and other quieter sounds. Because most of the sounds we must listen to, such as up-close conversation, music and traffic, are louder than this range, many individuals can go undiagnosed for some time.
While it may seem insignificant, it can lead to lifestyle difficulties and, more important, be the warning sign of worsening hearing impairment.
Sound is measured in decibels. For example, a jet engine can be as loud as 130 decibels, while a normal conversation is around 60 decibels. Now, to answer precisely, “What is considered mild hearing loss?” — people with mild hearing loss have difficulties with sounds in the 26-40 decibel range. This is not to say that individuals with mild hearing loss can hear below 26 decibels; instead, a loss of 26 decibels is still considered ‘normal hearing’ by medical standards. On the other hand, difficulty in hearing sounds above 40 decibels is classified as moderate hearing loss.
Recognising the symptoms of mild hearing loss in yourself or others can be difficult, given the subtle and progressive nature of the changes you may experience or witness. Look out for these key symptoms of mild hearing loss to help determine whether you or someone you love may be experiencing the condition:
It's worth recognising that these symptoms can, under the right circumstances, be experienced by people with normal hearing. Mild hearing loss can also present differently in different individuals, so it is essential to get an assessment by an audiologist to make a final diagnosis.
Knowing the common causes of mild hearing loss is crucial for preventing further hearing deterioration and understanding the best treatments for your condition. Here are some common causes that can contribute to this condition:
Diagnosis and treatment can greatly improve someone's quality of life when living with mild hearing loss. Depending on the causes and severity, as well as a patient's preferences, there are several strategies to improve the condition. Treatment for mild hearing loss may include one or all of the following strategies:
It’s essential to recognise that even mild hearing loss can affect individuals in subtle ways that can take a toll over time.
Hearing aids have come a long way, with technology advancing rapidly in the past few years. Modern hearing aids amplify sounds, improve clarity and help you to hear speech in noisy environments. At Bay Audiology, we can help determine whether a hearing aid fits your needs through a comprehensive hearing test.
Mild hearing loss is categorised as a condition in which people cannot hear sounds in the 26-40 decibel range. This condition can significantly impact an individual's quality of life. Arising due to a number of different reasons, from congenital factors, age and noise exposure to certain medications, the condition is luckily treatable in most cases. While environmental and lifestyle changes can improve your situation, hearing aids effectively mitigate the effects of mild hearing loss.