A visit to your local Australian Hearing Centre will help you determine the extent of your hearing loss. The severity of your hearing loss is measured in terms of how it impacts on your everyday life:
Mild: 21–45 dB
You might have some difficulty hearing soft speech and conversations, but you are capable of hearing voices clearly in quiet situations. A hearing device will assist most hearing problems in this range.
Moderate: 46–65 dB
Conversational speech will be hard to hear, more so when background noise is present, such as when the television or radio is turned up. A hearing device will assist most hearing difficulties if speech discrimination is good and background noise low.
Severe: 66–90 dB
Normal conversational speech is inaudible, but will be assisted by a hearing device. The clarity of speech heard is likely to be significantly affected and visual cues will assist in understanding speech.
Profound: 91 dB +
There is great inconsistency in the benefit derived from a hearing device. You may be able to understand clear speech when face to face and in places with good auditory conditions when wearing a hearing device. But others will find it impossible.
Where to after my hearing test?
Once you’ve had your initial hearing test, we recommend that you book in for a full hearing assessment. The assessment isn’t just to find out if you need a hearing aid. An audiologist will look at the extent of your hearing loss and work with you to find the best strategy to deal with it.
A hearing aid may be required, but the audiologist will discuss other methods of dealing with hearing loss, such as communication training to improve your listening skills. The audiologist will also be able to talk you through other devices that can help with day-to-day activities.
Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) is the name given to a number of aids that can make everyday hearing easier. They include wireless headsets for watching television, amplified telephones and alert systems for doorbells. These can be used with or without hearing aids.
A wireless FM system can help people who find it particularly difficult to hear in noisy situations (such as family gatherings, meetings, restaurants or in the car) by cutting out the distracting background noises.