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Degrees of Hearing Loss

​​​​​​Degrees of hearing loss means the severity of the hearing loss that the individual experiences.

The levels of hearing loss are generally classified as mild, moderate, severe or profound. Hearing loss that borders between two categories is typically described as a combination of the two categories (for example, thresholds at 60 dB HL might be called moderate-to-severe). The exact cutoff points for each category vary slightly according to different publications and ​different audiologists, but they are ​roughly as ​follows:

Degrees of Hearing Loss Hearing Threshold in Decibels (dB) Hearing Loss
Normal Hearing0-25 dBNo perceived ​hearing loss symptoms
Mild Hearing Loss25-40 dBDifficulty hearing and understanding quiet/soft conversations, especially situations with a lot of background noise (restaurants, classrooms, etc.)
Moderate Hearing Loss40-60 dBDifficulty understanding speech, higher volume levels are required for hearing TV and radio
Severe Hearing Loss60-80 dBSpeech has to be louder than normal, group conversations are difficult
Severe-to-Profound Hearing Loss80-90 dBDifficulties with speech, comprehension becomes impossible without amplification
Profound Hearing Loss​90 dB and greaterAmplified speech or devices are still ​​​difficult ​or impossible to hear and understand

Hearing Loss Audiogram Examples

The charts below depict examples of audiograms for different hearing loss levels.

Mild Hearing Loss

Audiometric thresholds ranging from 25-40 dB HL constitutes a mild hearing loss.

Mild Image

Moderate Hearing Loss

Audiometric thresholds ranging from 40-60 dB HL constitutes a moderate hearing loss.

Moderate Image

Severe Hearing Loss

Audiometric thresholds ranging from ​60-80 dB HL constitutes a severe hearing loss.

Severe Image

Severe-to-Profound Hearing Loss

Audiometric thresholds ranging from about 80-90 dB HL constitutes a severe-to-profound hearing loss.

Severe Profound

Profound Hearing Loss

Audiometric thresholds greater than 90 dB HL constitutes a profound hearing loss.

Profound