Elderly woman wearing a hearing aid

About 15 percent of adults over 18 have some form of hearing loss. That’s roughly 37.5 million Americans. Of that population, about 28.8 could benefit from a hearing aid.

Yet a lot of people don’t know they even need one. That’s why it’s important to know what level of hearing loss requires a hearing aid.

But first, you have to know how to tell if you have hearing loss at all.

What Are the Signs of Hearing Damage?

A lot of people don’t realize they’re losing their hearing at first because it can happen gradually. Only a doctor can diagnose hearing loss. But you’re reading this. So you probably suspect you or someone you love is showing signs of hearing damage.

And you might be right.

It’s important to know how to tell if you have hearing loss. Do any of these scenarios seem familiar?

  1. You have trouble hearing people on the phone or during video chats.
  2. You spend all day straining to hear, then feel tired or have a headache later that evening.
  3. You frequently ask people to repeat themselves.
  4. It often seems like all the people around you are mumbling or speaking quietly.
  5. When you’re in a crowded restaurant, you have trouble hearing what the people at your own table are saying.
  6. People frequently complain you have the volume on the TV or radio up too loud or that your phone volume is so loud they can hear the other end of the conversation.
  7. You have difficulty hearing people with higher-pitched voices, such as women and children.
  8. You find yourself nodding along and relying on social cues because you can’t understand what others are saying.
  9. You feel as though you can’t understand someone unless you’re looking at them.

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s time to see a doctor for a hearing test. If they diagnose hearing loss, they’ll help you look into the best hearing aids for your lifestyle and type of hearing loss.

And don’t be surprised if your doctor pushes you to get a hearing aid even if you don’t think you need one yet.

What Level of Hearing Loss Requires a Hearing Aid?

There are three types of hearing loss: conductive (in the outer or middle ear), sensorineural (in the inner ear) and mixed (which is a combination of the two).

All types of hearing loss are graded on the same scale, though.

  1. Normal
  2. Slight
  3. Mild
  4. Moderate
  5. Moderately severe
  6. Severe
  7. Profound

Your lifestyle and where you fall on this scale will determine whether you need a hearing aid.

It is a common misconception that only the hardest of hearing people need hearing aids.

Some people also believe they can forgo a hearing aid if they can still hear a sound. The truth is the longer you wait, the harder it might be to treat. So you should see a doctor when you notice the first signs of hearing damage.

So what level of hearing loss requires a hearing aid? It depends. Some people may find that mild hearing loss prevents them from enjoying their frequent social engagements. Those who don’t socialize in noisy places often might barely notice.

Your doctor will make recommendations based on your lifestyle and medical needs.

Is a Hearing Aid Right for You?

Now that you know what level of hearing loss requires a hearing aid, you might be tempted to ignore the fact that your level of hearing loss is the answer.

Many people worry about the social stigma of wearing hearing aids. Others worry hearing aids will bother them. But there are many models around that are discreet and comfortable.

Still not convinced a hearing aid is for you? Check out our article on all the ways hearing aids improve your life.

About The Author:

Stacey Smith is a freelance health writer. She is passionate to write about women’s health, dental health, diabetes, endocrinology and nutrition and provide in-depth features on the latest in health news for medical clinics and health magazines.