Patients often have trouble talking to their doctors. It can be hard to get the words out when the topic is emotionally charged or one you’d never bring up in polite conversation.
And for various reasons, sometimes including their own embarrassment, doctors may find it hard to bring up certain topics -- and that can compromise the care their patients receive.
“Communication is an inexact science,” says Bob Arnold, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and...
Often, people with severe hearing loss withdraw socially, because they're embarrassed to ask family and friends to repeat themselves over and over again. People with hearing loss also withdraw because they're afraid they'll misunderstand the conversation and answer with wrong or embarrassing comments.
Degrees of Hearing Impairment
Your health care provider may order a formal hearing test also known as an audiogram. Doctors determine the degree of hearing loss by looking at the range of decibels (dB) -- a measure of sound intensity -- you can hear. People with perfect hearing can hear sounds of all different intensities. People with severe hearing loss can pick up only very loud sounds.
Normal hearing is considered to be in the range of 0 to 25 dB, which is the softest intensity where sound is heard. People with normal hearing are able to make out sounds as faint as human breathing, which measures about 10 dB. Mild hearing loss is in the range of 26 to 40 dB, and moderate hearing loss ranges from 41 to 55 dB. Severe hearing loss is considered to be in the range of 71 – 90 dB. People with severe hearing loss have trouble hearing speech, although they can make out loud sounds, like a truck that backfires or an airplane taking off.