The Problem with Mild Hearing Loss


Classifying hearing losses that do not exceed 40 dB as mild does a disservice to those suffering from such losses; especially children.  Even a 30 dB hearing loss can cause a child to miss almost half of the activity in a classroom environment.  Statistics show that up to 37% of children with mild hearing loss will fail a grade in grammar school.

Teens with mild hearing loss from noise damage is on the rise.  A recent survey reported that 46% of teens have experienced ringing or pain in their ears from listening to excessively loud music.  Nine out of ten teenagers report they have knowingly engaged in noisy activities without wearing hearing protection, and some report they would rather risk mild hearing loss than wear visible hearing protection believing a mild loss isn’t a problem worth worrying about. 

Nothing could be further from the truth. Mild hearing loss can lead to avoiding social activities because of embarrassment and frequent misunderstandings.  Friends and family find it more difficult to communicate with hearing-impaired people causing relationships to suffer.  Telephone conversations, a mainstay of today’s society, are more difficult for mildly hearing-impaired people adding to their feelings of isolation.

Adults with untreated ‘mild’ hearing loss earn an average of $8000 less per year than normal hearing people and those that use hearing aids. As hearing loss gets worse so do the financial and social impacts.

The length of time spent listening to sounds at 90 dB without potentially damaging your hearing permanently is limited to eight hours; a normal workday.  At 95 dB hearing damage can occur after only 4 hours, at 100 dB it’s only two hours before hearing loss can occur, so damaging your hearing is quick and easy.    

In the long run, it’s much easier to protect your hearing and get annual hearing tests.  Treating a so called mild hearing loss can make big improvements in everyone’s future.  So what are you waiting for?


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