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What Does Moderate Hearing Loss Mean

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Treatments Of Bilateral Hearing Loss

Do I need Hearing Aids for a Mild Hearing Loss?

Some cases of bilateral hearing loss can be treated with surgery. Other types of bilateral hearing loss are best treated with hearing aids. Whether you need one or two hearing aids depends of the degree of hearing loss in each ear.

In some cases of bilateral hearing loss both surgery and the use of hearing aids are recommended.

If you only have a hearing loss in one ear it is called single sided deafness.

If you think that you have a bilateral hearing loss, you should contact your family doctor or a hearing health care professional.

The Longer You Wait The Harder It Gets

When your brain is deprived of sound stimulation, it loses the ability to process sounds. The longer you wait the more sounds disappear and it takes more time to readapt.

You get your vision tested regularly but what about your hearing? It is recommended to get a routine screening every 10 years until the age of 50 and at least every 3 years after turning 50. A hearing test can tell you if you have a hearing loss and a hearing care professional can advise you on what you can do about it.

Hearing Aids For Mild To Moderate Hearing Loss In Adults

Review question

We reviewed the evidence on the effects that hearing aids have on everyday life in adults with mild to moderate hearing loss. We were interested in a person’s ability to take part in everyday situations, general health-related quality of life, ability to listen to other people, and harm, such as pain or over-exposure to noise.


Hearing loss is very common and adults with hearing loss may be offered hearing aids. These devices increase the loudness, and may improve the clarity, of sounds so that they are easier to hear. The main goal of hearing aids is to reduce the impact of hearing loss and to improve a person’s ability to take part in everyday life. Although hearing aids are the most common technology for adults with hearing loss and are in widespread use, it is not clear how beneficial they are.

Study characteristics

The evidence is up to date to 23 March 2017. We found five clinical studies involving 825 adults with mild to moderate hearing loss who were randomly given either hearing aids, no hearing aids or placebo hearing aids. Studies involved older adults with the average age within studies between 69 and 83 years. The duration of the studies was between six weeks and six months.

Key results

Only one study attempted to measure harms due to hearing aids. None were reported.

Quality of the evidence

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Sudden Moderate Hearing Loss

In most cases, moderate hearing loss happens gradually. It will have progressed from normal to mild and then to moderate hearing loss. However, thats not always the case. There are thousands of cases of sudden moderate hearing loss each year. This is when you rapidly lose your hearing, often for unclear reasons, over a period of a few minutes or hours. If you have this experience, then its important to seek medical attention quickly. If treated within seven days, there are usually no long-term impacts.

How Does Moderate Hearing Loss Affect A Childs Learning

Levels of Hearing in 2020

Children with moderate hearing loss will suffer from the following problems:

  • Children with moderate hearing loss will not be able to hear important elements during discussion in class, such as content or key context without the help of visual cues.
  • Children with moderate hearing loss are not able to hear all the sounds in a word and tend to leave off ing, s, and ed in their writing and speech.
  • Children with moderate hearing loss will have more limited or smaller vocabulary when compared to their peers.
  • Children with moderate hearing loss become very tired towards the end of sessions, which need intense concentration or which were conducted in noisy environment.
  • Children with moderate hearing loss have difficulty in pronouncing some speech sounds.
  • Children with moderate hearing loss misinterpret what is said, even though they are able to hear the speaker. Children with moderate hearing loss are aware that someone has said something however, they are not able to hear what is said clearly enough to understand.

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Summary Of Main Results

For hearingspecific healthrelated quality of life where participation is the key domain , we found evidence that hearing aids had a large beneficial effect in reducing participation restrictions. Our confidence in the quality of the evidence for hearingspecific healthrelated quality of life was moderate due to high risk of bias . Significant differences in the size of effects were apparent across studies the effects reported by the two individual Veterans Association studies were similar , and more than twice the size of the effect reported by . However, all three studies individually reported large effects > 0.70) that favoured hearing aids, meaning that while further evidence may change the size of the overall effect on hearingspecific healthrelated quality of life, we have high confidence in the magnitude and direction of the effect.

For listening ability , there was a large beneficial effect of hearing aids when compared to the unaided/placebo condition. The two studies used different outcome measures with one, Abbreviated Profile of Hearing Aid Benefit , being an abbreviated version of the other . Both measures revealed large beneficial effects that favoured the use of hearing aids. Our confidence in the quality of the evidence for listening ability was moderate due to high risk of bias , although we have high confidence that the effect was both large and beneficial.

Please Do Not Hesitate To Contact Our Hearing Care Specialists

Our team is on hand to offer you expert advice and to help you with your experience of hearing loss. From a consultation to tests and choosing the right hearing aid, we can help make the process a lot easier no matter your level of hearing.

Our hearing clinics are based in Horsham, Chichester and Seaford in the south of England and always welcome new patients. For details on how to best contact us, .

What our clients say

Two members of my family have just received excellent advice and treatment at the Chichester Centre.

My husband for ear plugs advice and my 12 year old son, who has been suffering with excessive ear wax building up for the past year or so and being told by GP that can do nothing except keep putting drops in.

Within 15 minutes he had his ears safely unblocked, using micro suction and washing, something the GP said was not available. My son is like a different child and can actually hear again.

Thank You!

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How We Care For Hearing Loss

Our clinicians in the Department of Otolaryngology and Communication Enhancement at Boston Children’s Hospital have extensive expertise evaluating and treating hearing loss. Our Hearing Disorders Clinic and Audiology Program offer comprehensive, multi-disciplinary evaluation and management of various degrees of hearing loss in infants, children and adolescents. We work closely with specialists in Boston Childrens Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program, one of the largest, most comprehensive hearing-loss programs in the country, to provide comprehensive evaluation and consultative services for children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

How Is Hearing Loss Tested

What hearing loss sounds like

Hearing loss can affect people of all ages , and while the elderly tend to disproportionately have more cases of hearing loss, the truth is that it can affect you at any age.

In the distant past, hearing loss was something that was typically missed during childhood and resulted in many individuals performing poorly in school due to a hard time hearing. In the past few decades, local governments have begun to mandate hearing screenings in schools to help identify hearing loss sooner rather than later.

No matter the age, hearing tests are fundamentally the same and are a great way to better understand your auditory acuity and where it may be falling short. A standard hearing test may consist of a pure-tone test, a tympanometry screening, and a bone conduction test to assess hearing.

Combining these tests can allow an audiologist to understand the extent of hearing loss and what the most likely type of hearing loss is at play.

Below is a closer look at the components of a hearing test and what they help to identify.

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How Is Mild Hearing Loss Treated

Even people with mild hearing loss may benefit from hearing aids. Not only will this help in day-to-day clarity, but it can also decrease fatigue from listening and the need to keep stimulating the auditory pathways of the brain.

Untreated hearing loss is considered a risk factor for brain atrophy and cognitive decline. Studies are underway to prove that using hearing aids to treat hearing loss will prevent this atrophy. In the interim, we certainly know that using hearing aids will not hurt and may even help with this issue.

Historically, many people with mild losses will not bother to get hearing aids. Reasons range from cost, the stigma associated with wearing hearing aids, and the limited perceived benefits.

There are also other means of compensating for a mild hearing loss, such as better seating or the use of assistive listening devices.

Good communication strategies can be taught and are often helpful. For instance, you can try to avoid talking to a person with hearing loss from another room or with your back turned.

As someone with a hearing loss, you can ask people to speak clearly, slow down their rate of speech, or ask them to repeat or clarify if you don’t understand what is said. Many people also find new ways to position themselves in noisy situations.

All levels of hearing loss impact the person as well as those they come into contact with. While it is called “mild” hearing loss, the impact on communication is anything but mild.

What If Your Hearing Loss Is The Result Of An Injury

If your hearing is the result of an injury, you may be entitled to compensation, especially if the injury occurred at your workplace. The first process is get your hearing tested and your ears examined.

We have all the necessary high-tech diagnostic equipment to ascertain what type and degree of hearing loss you may have and the correct solution for you.

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Why Is It Important To Seek Treatment

Recent studies have found that even mild degrees of untreated hearing loss can increase the risk of developing conditions such as cognitive decline, dementia and Alzheimer’s compared to peers with normal hearing. Hearing loss can also lead to increased social isolation, depression and risk for fallsnot to mention difficulty in communicating with those around you on a daily basis.

Even though the word ‘mild’ makes one think its not really that bad, mild loss can have serious consequences.

Even though the word ‘mild’ makes one think its not really that bad, mild loss can have serious consequences, Dr. Danchak said. Why should a person live with a reduced quality of life due to hearing loss when the amplification options today are so advanced that they not only provide magnificent quality of sound, they are also wireless interfaces to your cell phone and other Bluetooth accessories?

How Much Does Personal Preference Play A Part

The Impact of Mild to Moderate Hearing Loss

There is always the wish to acquire hearing aids that are invisible and that is perfectly natural. Fortunately, we are one of the few accredited Lyric centres in the UK which allows us to fit the tiny invisible Lyrics implants deep in the ear canal.

These devices give a very natural sound and being completely invisible and with no daily insertion or removal, or batteries to change, they are very desirable. Perfect for mild to moderate hearing loss.

For more significant hearing loss there are larger devices and with bluetooth connectivity allowing far more individual control to settings and volume, these are also very desirable.

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The Scale Of Hearing Loss:

A child may hear some sounds, but not hear all the sounds they need to in order to understand. Below are possible impacts hearing loss may have on understanding language and speech:

16-25 dB Hearing Loss:

  • Compared to the ability to hear when index fingers are placed in ears.
  • Difficulty hearing faint or distant speech.
  • At 16 dB hearing loss, child can miss up to 10% of speech signal when speaker is at a distance greater than 3 feet. Percentage of speech missed will be greater whenever there is background noise.
  • Greater listening difficulties than a plugged-ear hearing loss.
  • Child can hear but misses fragments of speech leading to misunderstandings.
  • At 30 dB hearing loss child can miss up to 25-40% of speech signal.
  • At 40 dB child may miss 50% of classroom discussions.
  • Often experiences difficulty learning early reading skills such as letter/sound associations.

41-55 dB Hearing Loss:

  • At 50 dB hearing loss child may miss up to 80% of speech signal.
  • Without early amplification, the child is likely to have delayed or disordered syntax, limited vocabulary, imperfect speech production, and flat voice quality.
  • Even with hearing aids, if there is background noise, the child will miss much of what is being said.

56-70 dB Hearing Loss:

71-90 dB Hearing Loss:

Dangerous And Safe Noise Levels

The noise chart below lists average decibel levels for everyday sounds around you.

Painful impulse noiseNot safe for any period of time

150 dBP = fireworks at 3 feet, firecracker, shotgun

140 dBP = firearms

Painful steady noiseNot safe for any period of time

130 dBA = jackhammer

120 dBA = jet plane takeoff, siren, pneumatic drill

Extremely loudDangerous to hearing wear earplugs or earmuffs

112 dBA = maximum output of some MP3 players, rock concert, chainsaw

106 dBA = gas leaf blower, snow blower

100 dBA = tractor, listening with earphones

94 dBA = hair dryer, kitchen blender, food processor

Very loudDangerous to hearing wear earplugs or earmuffs

91 dBA = subway, passing motorcycle, gas mower

ModerateSafe listening for any time period

70 dBA = group conversation, vacuum cleaner, alarm clock

60 dBA = typical conversation, dishwasher, clothes dryer

50 dBA = moderate rainfall

FaintSafe listening for any time period

30 dBA = whisper, quiet library

The noise chart was developed using the following two websites:

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Moderate Hearing Loss Treatment:

Moderate hearing loss treatment comes under sensorineural hearing loss.

Currently, there are neither medicinal nor surgical remedies for sensorineural hearing loss. Therefore the provision of appropriate hearing aid is recommended. These days, auditory systems work with state-of-the-art digital technology, processing sound signals in smaller processors. Thanks to this modern technology, these tools are able to adjust the environmental conditions and separate noise from a persons voice. There are several hearing aids for a person with moderate hearing loss.

Types Of Hearing Aids For The People Suffering From Moderate Hearing Loss

Behind-The-Ear Hearing aids that rest behind the ears and accommodate a larger battery as well as stronger amplification.

Receiver-In-the-Ear Hearing devices tend to be comfortable as they keep the ear canal open in order to reduce plugged-up sensation.

In-The-Ear These instruments are used for a wide range of hearing losses. It rests inside the ear rather than behind it.

In-The-Canal and Completely-In-The-Canal Instruments are generally smaller than ITE devices. They are more discrete than other devices. They should not effective with losses add require more manual dexterity.

How Hearing Loss Is Measured

How Technology Helps (Mild Hearing Loss)

So how do you know if you have hearing loss and to what degree? Dont guess or try to treat your inability to hear with over-the-counter or mail order solutions. Instead, make an appointment with a qualified hearing healthcare professional. Your family physician may be able to refer you, or you can visit our online directory and find a trusted professional in your community.

In this case, this person cannot hear high-pitched sounds unless they are fairly loud. This will make hearing speech difficult. High-frequency hearing loss is a fairly common hearing loss pattern for people with age-related hearing loss. Others may struggle to hear low-frequency sounds and other sound ranges.

The hearing healthcare professional will administer a series of hearing tests. The outcome of the evaluation is known as an audiogram, a graph of the softest sounds you heard during your test. Heres an example of an audiogram of someone with mild-to-moderately-severe high-frequency hearing loss. As you can see, hearing thresholds in each ear are not always the same.

Based on the outcome and the lifestyle information you provide, the hearing healthcare professional will be able to recommend a course of treatment, which may include the purchase of hearing aids and enrollment in auditory therapy classes. Keep in mind, untreated hearing loss puts you at risk for developing a host of other health-related problems, including depression, dementia and Alzheimers disease.

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Noise And Your Health

Loud noise does not just hurt your hearing. It can cause other problems that you may not think of as being noise related.

Noise can make you more tired and cranky. Loud noise can cause other health problems, like:

  • high blood pressure
  • problems sleeping, even after the noise stops
  • problems with how babies develop before birth

Noise can make it harder to pay attention. You may be less safe at work because you may not hear warning signals or equipment problems. Noise can also cause you to get less work done.

Noisy classrooms can make it harder for children to learn. To learn more about noise in schools, read the Classroom Acoustics page.

It is harder to understand what others say when it is noisy. You may need to concentrate more and use more energy to hear. And the person speaking needs to talk louder or yell. This can make conversations hard. You may give up trying to talk or listen.

So, you can see that noise does more than cause hearing loss. It can impact your health, work, learning, and social life. It is important to cut down on the noise in your life for all of these reasons.

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