What Level Of Hearing Loss Requires A Hearing Aid

What Level Of Hearing Loss Requires A Hearing Aid?

What Level Of Hearing Loss Requires A Hearing Aid?

One in six Australians experience hearing loss, and according to government estimates, this is set to rise to 1 in 4 by 2050.

Hearing loss can severely impact daily life, and it can also affect people of all ages. Living with mild or permanent hearing loss impacts a person’s ability to communicate, learn, travel, and gain access to self-care and other services. The good news is that hearing loss is entirely treatable. With the right hearing aid, you can easily overcome even more difficult cases of hearing loss.

So what level of hearing loss requires a hearing aid? And when is hearing loss considered a disability under the National Disability Insurance Scheme?

Here we answer those questions and more.

What is hearing loss and how is it caused?

what is hearing loss and how is it caused
Hearing loss is a common factor in ageing populations and amongst those with long exposure to loud noises. Normal hearing can often deteriorate over time and worsen with old age. Despite this, there are many different causes of hearing loss. Here are some common causes:
  • Trauma to the inner ear – either by working a job with exposure to loud noises, or old age can deplete the nerve cells in the cochlea that communicate with the brain. This results in fewer or less clear signals being sent to the brain – and causes some degree of hearing loss.
  • Ear infections are a cause of hearing loss – especially with inflammation or growth of tumours, this can result in reduced hearing.
  • Sudden and extremely loud noise can cause eardrums to burst – as can severely impact your level of hearing.
  • Earwax is often a cause of reduced hearing – especially if it’s left to build up over time.

What is 30 dB hearing loss?

Someone who is only able to hear sounds at the 30 dB level is considered to experience mild hearing loss. This means that anything below 30 dB would be inaudible – or a whisper. Even mild hearing loss can have huge implications for your life – and make it difficult to engage in conversations.

Different levels of hearing loss

Different levels of hearing loss
Hearing loss can be categorised into different levels – depending on the severity and experience of the individual.
  • Mild: 27 – 40 dB
  • Virtually all speech and noises are audible – however, it may be difficult to hear soft sounds and quiet conversation and whispering.
  • Moderate: 41 – 55 dB
  • Speech is somewhat muffled or difficult to hear at times – especially when there’s background noise.
  • Moderately Severe: 56 – 70 dB
  • Sounds and speech are more difficult to hear and require a hearing device to be fully heard and understood.
  • Marked Severe: 71 – 90 dB
  • Sounds and speech are inaudible – but can be picked up and understood with the right hearing device and appropriate visual aids.
  • Profound: 91 dB +
  • Depending on your circumstances the level of assistance provided by hearing aids will be highly unpredictable. You may find it easy to understand someone who is speaking right in front of you – whereas others may not.

What level of hearing loss requires a hearing aid?

hearing aid
While everyone’s experience may be different, it’s common for people whose hearing loss reaches the second level (moderate) to begin using a hearing aid. Moderate hearing loss is between 41 and 55 decibels and is characterised by difficulties hearing people at their normal volume. You may find voice announcements hard to hear – and hearing someone speak over background noise like in a restaurant can often be difficult.

When to see an audiologist

If you notice your hearing is in decline or something is not right, it’s a good idea to consult with an audiologist. If you work a job that involves continuous exposure to loud sounds (like at an airport or building site), then it’s good to make sure you’ve got the right protection.

When is hearing loss considered a disability under the NDIS?

If you’re experiencing hearing loss, you may well be wondering at what level this is considered a disability and what funding is available for hearing supports. To participate in the NDIS, you need to fulfil the requirements as set out in the Disability Act.
According to the National Disability Insurance Agency, a hearing impairment of ≥ 65 decibels in the better ear may result in a substantially reduced functional capacity to perform one or more activities.

What level of hearing loss do I need to automatically qualify for disability support?

According to Section 24 of the Disability Act, bilateral hearing loss > 90 decibels in the better ear (pure tone average of 500Hz, 1000Hz, 2000Hz, and 4000Hz) means you don’t have to prove the impact of the disability on your life.

What support does the NDIS provide?

What support does the NDIS provide1

The NDIS can provide reasonable and necessary supports to people with hearing loss who aren’t eligible for supports provided by the Hearing Services Programme (HSP). The NDIS can also provide reasonable and necessary supports if you require further supports beyond what the HSP can provide. This can include access to assistive listening devices and AUSLAN interpreting supports. See our full guide if you’d like to learn more about assistive technologies and how they interact with the NDIS.

Are hearing aids covered under NDIS funding?

It depends. If you are over 26 years old and unable to receive support from the HSP, the NDIS can provide hearing supports. While it is possible to receive supports from the NDIS and the HSP at the same time – you cannot receive the same supports from both agencies. If you are under 26 – it’s worth checking whether you qualify and see what supports are available for your situation.

Get your supports sorted with an NDIS plan manager

Receiving supports through NDIS, or just about to begin your NDIS journey? At Onboard Supports, we help you manage your plan to get the most out of it. No more paying invoices, no more monthly budgeting, or reporting. And the best part? Our plan management services can be included within your plan so you don’t have to worry about paying extra.
Let us get on with the admin while you get back to what really matters. Give our Perth NDIS plan manager a call today on 0405 139 143.