Can anybody tell me how bad my hearing loss really is

Attached my audiogram here. I do have to wear hearing aids but most audiograms I’ve seen are always flat around the severe to profound loss area but mine is like a slide. Any explanation from those who are able to explain it better than I am able to read it is appreciated. Thanks :blush:


Picture from Google.

Slight to profound hearing loss, ski slope type.

Low frequency is normal, high frequency is really bad.

Other people audiograms are not always flat severe to profound. The most common hearing loss is actually yours but not always so bad.


Your hearing loss is very similar to mine. BIL ski slope into profound loss. You have good low frequencies and terrible high frequencies. Leaving you possibly struggling to understand a lot of speech.

Are you struggling to understand speech with HA’s as well? When I got to this stage of struggling with HA’s I took a leap of faith and got a CI evaluation followed by CI surgery. It’s the best thing I ever did for myself. My BIL aided speech comprehension went from 33% to 94%.

Good luck to you. :four_leaf_clover::four_leaf_clover:

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Hi, thank you Zebras and Deaf for both of your replies :slight_smile:

Yes I do struggle with speech even with hearing aids in. I’m getting my HA checked and readjusted for the hundredth time on Friday as I just cannot seem to be comfortable with them :frowning: horrible background noise, constant fizzing sounds drowning out people’s speeches… they’re beginning to annoy me if I’m honest!

I am not a candidate for a cochlear implant as the audiologist said they do not want me to lose the remaining hearing that I have left. If I lose my hearing completely then I’d definitely consider it.

Did you still have hearing like mine when you got a cochlear implant?

@24d204afd18da1bb5831 hearing aid audiologists and implant audiologist both have different opinions on CI’s. You need to speak to a CI AuD, and be evaluated to see if your a suitable candidate for a CI.

My HA AuD didn’t want me to get a CI either, but I needed a far better quality of life than what I had with HA’s. And that’s what I have now…

As for preserving your residual hearing yes this can be done if you get a really experienced surgeon and they use the right electrodes. And yes I can still hear from my CI ear without my CI or aid. I still have excellent low frequencies in my CI ear. (Look at my audiogram that’s under my avatar, my R ear is my CI)

But look at like this the older you get your hearing is going to decline further anyhow, even with HA’s. And by leaving making this decision until you can’t hear with HA’s makes it the more difficult to get a really great result.

Good luck with your hearing.


Here in the UK, you would qualify for a CI assessment even tho the requirements are really strict here in the UK.

I would definitely enquire about it.

Apart from a CI, a hearing aid with frequency compression (frequency shift, there are different names for that) could be of help.
With that settings, high frequencies are “copied” to a lower range to be able to hear them. This needs a serious amount of getting used to, but once that is achieved, could make a great difference.

Precipitous rather than ‘bad’.

Mild-Profound Ski-Slope is the usual designation. There’s usually 2-3 approaches.

1 Attempt to amplify across the board where needed - risks downward spread of masking, may amplify/reproduce unhelpful sounds around 4-6KHz which will impact on the overall signal in terms of saturation and distortion.

2 Amplify across most frequencies and use a frequency shifting/compression technique to make better use of the available spectrum. Not everyone can cope/habituate with this technique and it doesn’t always provide the desired benefits.

3 Abandon part of the spectrum; might sound harsh, but levelling off the gain at 1KHz and above can offer significant benefits and avoid downward masking/distortion. You might need to accept that some HF information is lost, but where the cochlea is this badly damaged (dead spots) you’re just going be piling noise on nerve endings.

Arguably, a combination of 2 and 3 might prove to be the most effective, but habituation could still take considerable effort and time to draw the most benefit from a HF compression/shifting prescription.


Keep in mind that the chart shows the different degrees of hearing loss. What the chart doesn’t show is that everyone in each colored area probably doesn’t experience the same loss. Hearing loss is a very individual thing. And those with similar audiogram may hear differently

Mine is a bit worse. Wearing More 1s and while i do believe a CI is in the future somewhere, Im functional and working… The main objection I have is that for watching TV i need captions… but I’m an optimist… which to me means I can read real fast :slight_smile:

Seriously, in my experience, the success you may or may not have is somewhat dependent on how you choose to deal with the issues. I still read lips/hate masks but with my iPhone/TV adapter combination I am on conference calls 6 out of 8 hours every working day.

Good luck and all the best.

Thank you for this explanation. My audi did what seems like a combination of 2 and 3 (mostly 3) and initially I didn’t really understand why I’m using 85DB receivers instead of the more powerful ones… the unexpected benefit is longer battery life i suppose…

This is a great chart to keep as reference! Thanks for posting it here.

I guess I could even abbreviate it a bit more: after 70, just call the entire section “WHOA NELLY!” :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

Do a Google search for “Speech Banana”
Place your audiogram into it to see what you can and can not hear.
It will help you understand why you miss certain words.


Longer battery life, less distortion, less feedback, less downward spread of masking and better sounding lower intensity sound.

I’d take that as a win.

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My loss is quite similar to yours, a very steep ski slope, with severe to profound loss at high frequencies. Without my aids, I have trouble understanding women and children, but compensate (a lot) with leading lips and faces. I can’t hear a whole ranges of sounds from keyboard clicking to appliances running to birds singing. My Oticon OPN1s opened a whole new world of sound for me. If you don’t currently have headings aids, be aware that the technology for ski slope loss has vastly improved over the past 15 years. Good, high end aids are expensive, but can be life changing.

I’ve fiddled around with various prescriptions. Ones where there are less highs and a bit of compression, as Um_Bongo suggests, have always worked best for me. In contrast, if I use the recommended Phonak high frequency amplification, it makes things hard to understand. It also feels like I’m flooded with uninterpretable sound and noise, which is just too much. For me, the less is more approach works best. Plus, I use earmolds with vents when I’m in most situations to keep background LF sound from interfering with speech comprehension. I must say, though, with good LF hearing and vents, eating crunchy vegetables makes it sound like my brain is exploding. And it has taken me a long time to get used to amplification–it’s still not always comfortable for me in the comfort-vs-comprehension tradeoff. I hope some of this is helpful information for you and good luck with your experimenting and choices about HA prescriptions.