Degrees of hearing loss
How severe is your hearing loss? That depends on which levels of sound you can hear. Your hearing professional will chart these levels on an audiogram in order to determine your degree of hearing loss. Hearing loss is generally classified in seven degrees: normal, slight, mild, moderate, moderately severe, severe, and profound.
Shapes of hearing loss
Your hearing may be limited to one ear or affect both. There are four configurations of hearing loss that you could be experiencing.
- Bilateral vs. unilateral – Bilateral involves hearing loss in both ears, while unilateral hearing loss is only in one ear
- Symmetrical vs. asymmetrical – Symmetrical means that your level and type of hearing loss is the same in both ears. Asymmetrical means that your ears have different types or levels of hearing loss
- Progressive vs. sudden hearing loss – Progressive hearing loss gets worse over time, while sudden hearing loss happens spontaneously – like after being exposed to a very loud noise. See a medical professional immediately if you think you may have sudden hearing loss
- Fluctuating vs. stable hearing loss – Fluctuating hearing loss can get better or worse over time, while stable hearing loss will stay the same