Stages of Hearing Loss

What is Hearing Loss?

Hearing Loss can occur when any part of the ear is not functioning normally. The auditory system, hearing ( acoustic) nerve, middle ear, inner ear and outer ear are all included in this. It  is a partial or complete hearing loss in one or both ears. Hearing loss is a result of ageing and loud noise exposure. It can be either temporary or permanent. In addition, the ability of the ears to conduct sound may be affected by other factors, such as excess ear wax.

What are the signs and symptoms of Hearing Loss?

Signs of Hearing loss in Children and Adults

  1. Not responding to sounds.
  2. Difficulty in identifying the source of sound.
  3. Difficulty in following conversations.

Symptoms in Children and Adults

  1. Difficulty in hearing due to loud background noises.
  2. Having difficulties hearing on the phone.
  3. Tinnitus is often known as ringing or buzzing in the ears.
  4. Withdrawal from discussions.
  5. A constant need to turn the radio or television loud.
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What are the Risk Factors of Hearing Loss? 

  1. Recreational Noises: Explosive noises, such as those made by jet engines and weapons, may cause Hearing Loss.
  2. Ageing may also result in Hearing Loss.
  3. Drugs that can harm the inner ear include Gentamicin, Sildenafil (Viagra), and several chemotherapy medications. Suppose you use Aspirin, other painkillers, antimalarial medications, or loop diuretics in extremely high dosages. In that case, it may temporarily affect your hearing and cause ear ringing (Tinnitus) or Hearing Loss.
  4. Heredity: Genetic make-up may expose you to Hearing Loss due to ageing or noise-induced damage.
  5. Occupational noises: Working in a stressful environment, such as one that involves construction, or a factory, might harm your ears.

What are the Stages of Hearing Loss?

The normal range of sound that a person can hear varies from 30-60 decibels. According to the severity of the loss, Hearing Loss is classified as follows:

  1. Mild Hearing Loss:  People with Mild Hearing Loss can pick the sound range between 25 and 40 decibels. As a result, individuals cannot notice soft noises like a ticking clock. Many types of Hearing Devices like Ear plugs etc can be used to prevent Mild Hearing Loss.
  2. Moderate Hearing Loss: People with Moderate Hearing loss can hear sounds in the range from 35 to 49 dB. Here, people can have trouble understanding everyday speech. The sound of the phone ringing or a doorbell may not be audible. Additionally, it can be challenging to hear or follow noises during typical discussions. It is treated by using hearing aids or middle ear implants.
  3. Severe Hearing Loss: Speech cannot be heard without hearing aids. It may be challenging to understand even with hearing aids. Cochlear implants or middle ear implants are two therapies that can successfully correct Severe Hearing Loss.
  4. Profound Hearing Loss: Most of the time, employing a hearing aid is useless for people with Profound Hearing Loss. Loud noises from aeroplane engines or fire alarms also affect Hearing. People with complete hearing loss must rely on lipreading, gesture, or other visual signals to communicate. Some people will opt for sign language. A cochlear implant, which can help someone hear and interpret speech after surgery and rehabilitation, is one of the best treatments for Profound Hearing Loss.

How to Prevent Hearing Loss?

The following steps can prevent noise-induced Hearing Loss, along with age-related Hearing Loss:

  1. Protection of Ears: The best defence is to keep the length and intensity of your noise exposure to a minimum. Plastic earplugs or earmuffs stuffed with glycerin can help shield your ears from harmful sounds at work.
  2. Reduce Recreational Risks: Over time, your hearing can be damaged by snowmobiling, hunting, using power tools, and attending rock concerts. You can safeguard your ears by wearing hearing protection or taking breaks from the noise. 
  3. Evaluation of Hearing:  Working in a noisy environment requires frequent tests to evaluate hearing.

Updated on : 16 July 2022


Dr. Aman Priya Khanna

Dr. Aman Priya Khanna

MBBS, DNB General Surgery, Fellowship in Minimal Access Surgery, FIAGES

12 Years Experience

Dr Aman Priya Khanna is a well-known General Surgeon, Proctologist and Bariatric Surgeon currently associated with HealthFort Clinic, Health First Multispecialty Clinic in Delhi. He has 12 years of experience in General Surgery and worke...View More


Rajath R Prabhu

Rajath R Prabhu

MSc. Clinical Research I PG Diploma in Public Health Services Management

3 Years Experience

His work in medical content writing and proofreading is noteworthy. He has also contributed immensely to public health research and has authored four scientific manuscripts in international journals. He was assoc...View More

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