Degrees of Hearing Loss Chart
    • Degree of Hearing Loss:
      Hearing loss ranges from slight (16-25 dB HL), mild (26-40 dB HL), moderate (41-55 dB HL), moderately severe (56-70 dB HL), severe (71-90 dB HL) and profound (91-120 dB HL).  A sensorineural hearing loss can be in many different configurations of hearing loss. Because of the many different types of losses, it is not sufficient to just speak louder to a person with a hearing loss. These type of losses need to be treated in specific frequencies with a hearing aid to provide audibility and to improve clarity because hearing occurs in the brain. 
       Types of Hearing Loss:
      Conductive-This type of hearing loss is caused by a disruption of sound in the outer or middle ear. It is most likely caused by medically treatable issues such as: Ear Infections (Otitis Media), Fluid in the ear (Otitis Media with Effusion or Serous Otitis Media), or Impacted ear wax. It is important that these conditions be addressed by appropriate medical personnel as they do have educational ramifications in that the student will not hear well with these conditions and the child may miss verbally presented information.
      Sensorineural Hearing Loss-This type of hearing loss is permanent. The only treatment for Sensorineural hearing loss is Hearing Aids (for mild to severe losses) or Cochlear Implants (for severe to profound hearing loss). In the classroom these students can/may also be assigned Hearing Assistive Technology (HAT) such as an FM system or DM system. The personal FM/DM system’s job is to provide a favorable signal to noise ratio (SNR) for the student. No amount of raising of the voice or shouting that is done in the classroom will provide that favorable signal to noise ratio.
      Mixed Hearing Loss- Mixed hearing loss is a combination of a conductive hearing loss and a sensorineural hearing loss. These students have both permanent hearing loss and may have some medical issue on top of that hearing loss.
      Unilateral Hearing Loss- This is most likely to be sensorineural in type as far as the hearing loss goes but, is only present on one side. This situation puts a student at risk for some educational impact such as failing a grade or subject. Some students may come in wearing one hearing aid or a BAHA (bone anchored hearing aid) or may simply have accommodations such as preferential seating. For these students in the classroom, they should be seated  with the poorer ear to a wall and their good ear toward the teacher and the classroom. 
      Some of the characteristics of a unilateral hearing loss are:
      • Having difficulty finding where the source of a sound originates (difficulty localizing).
      • Difficulty understanding speech in the presence of background noise.
      • Problems hearing at a distance, such as from another room or outside.
      • May hear speech, but have difficulty understanding in certain situations.
      • Fatigue or tiredness.
      • Answers the Wrong questions.
      • May “act out” when frustrated.
      • Turn up the television or radio too loud.