Degrees of hearing loss

Degrees of hearing loss

Different levels of hearing loss are referred to as degrees, depending on the severity of impairment.

Degrees of hearing loss Hearing threshold (in decibels, dB) Ability to hear speech
None 0 – 25 dB No perceptible difficulty.
Mild 26 – 40 dB Difficulty hearing soft speech and conversations, especially in noisier or more reverberant situations, but can understand in quiet environments.
Moderate 41 – 55 dB Difficulties understanding speech, especially in the presence of background noise. Higher volume levels are needed for hearing TV or radio.
Moderate to severe 56 – 70 dB Clarity of speech is considerably affected. Speech has to be louder as usual, difficulties in group conversations will occur.
Severe 71 – 90 dB Regular speech is inaudible. Difficulties even with loud speech. Comprehension often only possible through shouting or amplification.
Profound 91+ dB Even amplified speech is difficult to understand or even inaudible.