TABLE 2

Definitions of Hearing Loss

Hearing LossDefinition
MildOn average, the most quiet sounds that people can hear with their better ear are between 20 and 40 dB. People who suffer from mild hearing loss have some difficulties keeping up with conversations, especially in noisy surroundings.
ModerateOn average, the most quiet sounds heard by people with their better ear are between 40 and 70 dB. People who suffer from moderate hearing loss have difficulty keeping up with conversations when not using a hearing aid.
SevereOn average, the most quiet sounds heard by people with their better ear are between 70 and 95 dB. People who suffer from severe hearing loss will benefit from powerful hearing aids, but often they rely heavily on lip reading, even when they are using hearing aids. Some also use sign language.
  • 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.