Hearing loss goes by many names. Even with five percent of the world’s population having some form of hearing loss, according to the World Health Organization, the details and specifics of this disorder are not often talked about.
Below we break down the difference between being hard of hearing and deaf.
Hearing Loss Degrees
There are four degrees of hearing loss:
- Mild – soft and subtle sounds are hard to hear
- Moderate – speech and sounds at normal volumes are hard to hear
- Severe – sounds at normal volume are very difficult to hear
- Profound – only very loud sounds can be heard
Someone with mild to severe hearing loss would be classified as hard of hearing, as they still have some ability to hear. Someone with profound hearing loss is classified as deaf.
Hard of Hearing Symptoms & Treatment
The two most common causes of hearing loss include aging and exposure to noise. Infections, injury, medications, birth defects and genetics can all play a role in the development of hearing loss.
Identifying the early signs of hearing loss is key to seeking treatment in a timely manner. Common hard-of-hearing symptoms include:
- Unclear speech
- Talking loudly
- Saying “what” frequently
- Responding incorrectly
- Turning the TV or radio volume up uncomfortably loud
Children will often have a delay in speech development and won’t respond or turn to face a sound source.
The treatment for being hard of hearing depends on the cause of your hearing loss. For most, hearing aids will be the recommended treatment plan. Additional options include:
- Assistive listening devices
- Cochlear implants
- Earwax removal
How to Prevent Hearing Loss
While there is nothing you can do to prevent hearing loss caused by aging, you can protect your ears from exposure to loud noises.
The five best tips for preventing hearing loss are:
- Turn down the volume on your headphones or speaker
- Take listening breaks
- Wear earplugs or other hearing protection
- Clean your ears safely
- Have your hearing tested regularly
To learn more about the degrees of hearing loss or to schedule an appointment with a hearing professional, contact Total Hearing Care of Dallas today.