Tests For Hearing Loss

Degrees of Hearing Loss

Degrees of hearing loss refers to the severity of the loss as measured by hearing tests. There are seven categories, outlined in the accompanying chart, that are typically used to describe the degree of hearing loss.

Hearing Threshold
(in decibels, dB)
Degree of Hearing Loss Ability to Hear Speech
0–25 dB None No significant difficulty
26–40 dB Mild Difficulty hearing soft speech and conversations, but can manage in quiet environments
41–55 dB Moderate Difficulty understanding conversational speech, especially when there is background noise. Higher volume levels are required for hearing TV and radio.
56–70 dB Moderate to Severe Clarity of speech is significantly affected. Speech must be loud and you may have difficulty in group conversations
71–90 dB Severe Normal conversational speech is inaudible. You may also have difficulty with loud speech or only be able to understand shouted or amplified speech
91+ dB Profound Unable to clearly understand even amplified speech