Otolaryngology Book


Hearing Impairment Severity Scale

Aka: Hearing Impairment Severity Scale, Hearing Loss Classification
  1. See Also
    1. Hearing Loss
    2. Sensorineural Hearing Loss
    3. Conductive Hearing Loss
    4. Hearing Test
  2. Grading: Degree of Hearing Loss in better ear
    1. Normal Hearing (<25 dB)
      1. Can hear normal breathing or whispering from 5 feet (1.5 meters) away
    2. Mild Hearing Loss (26-40 dB)
      1. Difficult to hear soft speech, speech from a distance, quiet library sounds or speech over background noise
    3. Moderate Hearing Loss (41-55 dB per Clark/CDC, 41-60 per WHO)
      1. Difficulty Hearing regular speech (even at close distance) or refrigerator sound
    4. Moderately Severe Hearing Loss (56-70 per Clark/CDC)
      1. Extreme difficulty Hearing normal conversation
    5. Severe Hearing Loss (71-90 dB per Clark/CDC, 61-80 per WHO)
      1. Unable to hear most conversational speech, can only hear loud speech or loud sounds
    6. Profound Hearing Loss (>91 dB per Clark/CDC, >81 per WHO)
      1. Loud sounds (e.g. car horn, factory machines) may be heard primarily as vibrations
  3. Resources
    1. Hearing Impairment Grades (WHO)
      1. https://www.who.int/pbd/deafness/hearing_impairment_grades/en/
  4. References
    1. Clark (1981) ASHA 23(7):493-500 [PubMed]
    2. Michels (2019) Am Fam Physician 100(2): 98-108 [PubMed]

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