Mild or slight hearing loss may seem like it is not a huge issue or would have a detrimental effect on a person’s life but despite this mild hearing loss can have big impacts.
According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), a slight or mild hearing loss will have thresholds on a hearing test of 16-40dB. This means if there is a 40dB threshold on a hearing test for a given frequency any sounds that are less than 40dB a person will be unable to hear them. Normal hearing thresholds range from -10 to 15dB.
Currently, there are many debates on the best treatment plan for children and even adults with this type and degree of hearing loss. Some argue that this is not significant enough for amplification devices and some point to research that suggests otherwise.
Hardships a person with slight or mild hearing loss may deal with:
- Difficulty in background noise
- An increased listening effort can result in auditory fatigue
- Difficulty with distinguishing key parts of speech to understand words
Children with slight or mild hearing loss may struggle academically due to the hardships they face with their hearing loss. While hearing care professionals are sorting through the traditional rules of when to fit for amplification it is most important to advocate when a child is struggling. This strongly influences a professional’s decision to provide amplification.
For adults with this type of hearing loss hearing care professionals tend to listen to their patients. Children are often not as good reporters as an adult. If you are suffering in listening situations speak up and let your hearing care professional know. They again are more likely to suggest amplification for this type of hearing loss if a person is noticing a struggle.
If you are noticing that you struggle with your hearing or your child is struggling head to your local hearing care professional for help.