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What Is Hearing Loss?

A hearing impairment best describes the ability to detect certain frequencies of sound whether it is full hearing, partial loss, or complete impairment.

But hearing loss can be defined by several categories, of which some would then require a hearing aid to be worn.

Here is a guide on hearing impairment and the stages of severity adapted from “European Group on genetics of hearing impairment. Martini A (Ed.), European Commission Directorate, Biomedical and Health Research Programme (HEAR) Infoletter 2, November 1996, 8.”


Mild hearing loss may not appear that serious but does have effects. If it is left misdiagnosed and not treated, it can harm speech and language development in young children and have an impact on communication skills. It is typically classified as a hearing loss of around 26 to 40 decibels.


For moderate severity, it is classified as between 41 and 55 decibels so people who find it difficult to keep up with conversations should use a hearing aid.

– Severe

Consumers who suffer from severe hearing impairment and who would benefit from hearing aids are classified as between 71 and 90. Often they rely heavily on lip-reading and some also use sign language.

– Profound

This is the highest ranking of hearing loss and those who are diagnosed have hearing greater than 95 decibels. One who is classified is very hard of hearing and relies mostly on lip reading and/or sign language.

So now when you have a hearing test you will be able to fully understand your diagnosis on the scale of hearing loss categorisation, and whether or not you a phonak audio hearing device.

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