Figures indicate that one out of seven individuals does not have full hearing and one out of ten hears so poorly that a hearing instrument would help.
Studies (Maastricht report on hearing impairment, 1999) also underline the fact that only a minority – less than 14% in the EU – of those for whom a hearing instrument would be beneficial actually use one.
The degree of hearing loss varies from person to person
Between the two extremes of hearing well and hearing nothing, there are many degrees of impairment. The terms used to describe the degree of hearing loss are mild, moderate, severe and profound. Most hearing losses are mild to moderate.
What does the degree of hearing loss mean?
- Mild hearing loss: unable to hear soft sounds, difficulty understanding speech clearly in noisy environments.
- Moderate hearing loss: unable to hear soft and moderately loud sounds, considerable difficulty understanding speech, particularly with background noise.
- Severe hearing loss: some loud sounds are audible but communication without a hearing instrument is impossible.
- Profound hearing loss: some extremely loud sounds are audible but communication without a hearing instrument is impossible.