Hearing Resources

Hearing Loss

Did you know?

  • Hearing helps maintain full enjoyment and participation in life
  • 1 in 10 Americans — over 30 million people nationally— experience some degree of hearing loss.
  • Hearing loss is the third most common physical condition after arthritis and heart disease.
  • Hearing loss can affect people of all ages — varying from mild to profound.
  • Hearing loss is a sudden or gradual decrease in how well you can hear.
  • Degrees of hearing loss are mild, moderate, severe, or profound.
  • Congenital hearing loss means you are born without hearing, while gradual hearing loss happens over time.
  • Hearing loss may be mistaken for aloofness, confusion, personality changes or dementia.
  • In adults, the most common causes of hearing loss are noise and aging.
  • Noise-induced hearing loss may happen slowly or suddenly.
  • Tinnitus (or ringing in the ears) can accompany hearing loss and may be as debilitating as hearing loss.


  • By the age of 65 one out of three people has a hearing loss.
  • 60 percent of the people with hearing loss are either in the workforce or a student.
  • Workers with mild hearing losses show little or no drop in income compared to peers with average hearing, but as the hearing loss increases, compensation is reduced.
  • About 2-3 of every 1,000 children are hard of hearing or deaf.
  • 30 school children per 1,000 have a hearing loss.

Degree of Hearing Loss

The loudness of sounds is defined in terms of a scale of decibels dB. How well you hear is determined by the lowest to highest threshold of decibels that you can perceive at different frequencies (the number of waves a sound produces per second.)

  • Normal Hearing (-10 to +15 dB)
  • Mild Hearing Loss (16 to 40 dB)
  • Moderate Hearing Loss (41 to 55 dB)
  • Moderate-Severe Hearing Loss (56 to 70 dB)
  • Severe Hearing Loss (71 to 90 dB)
  • Profound Hearing Loss (91+ dB)

Types of Hearing Loss

  • Hearing loss is categorized according to the part of the ear it affects. There are three main types of hearing loss—Sensorineural (inner ear damage), conductive (outer or middle ear damage), and mixed (a combination of inner, and outer or middle ear damage

Statistics sources: National Information Center on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, National Institutes of HealthNational Council on Aging, and the MarkeTrak VIII Study by Sergei Kochkin, Ph.D.

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About us

Pamala A. Pannell is the Director of Audiology at Pro-Audiology of Nashville. She received a Masters of Audiology from the University of Mississippi in Oxford. She is committed to providing quality personalized hearing health care services for the identification, prevention and nonmedical rehabilitation of hearing loss using the most advanced marketed technology. She has earned the reputation for excellent patient care and takes pride in the quality of services offered to patients with hearing and balance problems.