Around the world, people of all ages experience hearing loss. It can be caused by several factors such as genetics, age, noise exposure and illnesses. In some cases, hearing loss is so severe that it becomes a disability. But what exactly is considered a disability? And at what level does hearing loss become one?

There are different types of hearing loss, which can be classified as either mild, moderate, severe or profound. A person is considered disabled if they have a physical or mental impairment that prevents them from doing a substantial gainful activity. If a person has hearing loss that is so severe that it prevents them from doing any type of work, then they are considered to have a total disability. If a person has hearing loss that only affects their ability to do certain types of work, they are considered to have a partial disability.

How To Know If Your Hearing Loss Is a Disability?

If you have significant difficulty hearing or if your ability to hear has diminished over time, you may wonder if your hearing loss is considered a disability. There are a few things to consider when determining whether or not your hearing loss is a disability, such as the severity of your hearing loss, how it affects your life and whether or not you qualify for disability benefits.

To determine the severity of your hearing loss, you will need to have a hearing test performed by a qualified hearing health professional. This test will give you an audiogram that will show the severity and type of your hearing loss.

The Three Different Types of Hearing Loss

There are three types of hearing loss: conductive, sensorineural and mixed. Conductive hearing loss occurs when there is a problem with the outer or middle ear and prevents sound from being conducted to the inner ear. Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when there is damage to the inner ear or auditory nerve and affects your ability to hear even if you have no problems with your outer or middle ear. Finally, mixed hearing loss is a combination of both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.

Effects on Your Life

The next thing to consider is how your hearing loss affects your life. For some people, their hearing loss is mild and does not significantly impact their life. They may be able to hear well enough to communicate with others and do not require any special accommodations.

Other people may have moderate or severe hearing loss, making communicating with others and participating in everyday activities challenging. They may need hearing aids or other assistive devices to help them hear better.

Disability Benefits

The last thing to consider is whether or not you qualify for disability benefits. To qualify for disability benefits, you must be unable to work because of your hearing loss.

If you think you may have a hearing loss that is considered a disability, the best thing to do is to talk to a hearing health professional to get more information and to find out what treatment options are available to you.

At What Level Is It Considered a Disability?

To determine whether or not your hearing loss is a disability, you would need to undergo numerous tests to get an accurate result. First, hearing loss is considered to be a disability at an average hearing rate below 90 decibels (dBs) when the hearing test performed by a hearing health professional is measured by air conduction.

Secondly, when the test is conducted with bone conduction, the average hearing threshold is 60dBs or above to be considered a disability. The third test to determine your disability would be a word recognition test; if you cannot repeat at least 40% of the words, your hearing loss will be considered a disability.

These are the levels where most people would have difficulty understanding speech without using a hearing aid or other assistive device. However, even with these devices, many people with hearing loss are still not able to communicate effectively. Therefore, if you have difficulty understanding conversation when people speak at a normal volume, it may indicate that your hearing loss is at a level that could be classified as a disability.

Get In Touch Today!

If you think you may have hearing loss, contact a hearing health professional today to schedule a hearing test. You can find out more about Park Place Hearing Center and our services by visiting our website or calling us at (707) 283-7853. We will be able to help you determine the severity of your hearing loss and whether it is considered a disability!

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