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Standardized Hearing Test Required

Uniform Measurement Standards

The Advisory Council on Hearing Aids recognizes and adopts the following uniform set of hearing loss measurement standards required for use when interpreting audiograms using 0 – 110 for degrees of decibel hearing loss (dB HL) and 125 – 8000 Hz for frequency. This set of uniform measurement standards must be used for advising consumers on peripheral or cochlear hearing loss.

Measurement Standards – Degrees of Decibel Hearing Loss (dB HL)

Loss in dB HL Degree of Loss Description
0 -20 Normal Within normal limits
21 – 40 Mild Loss Faint or distant speech may be difficult to hear. Lip reading can be helpful.
41 – 55 Moderate Loss Conversational speech can be understood at a distance of three to five feet. As much as 50% of discussions may be missed if the voices are faint or not in line of vision.
56 – 70 Moderately Severe Speech must be loud in order to be understood; group discussions will be difficult to follow.
71 – 90 Severe Loss Voices may be heard from a distance of about one (1) foot from the ear.
91 plus Profound Loss Loud sounds may be heard, but vibrations will be felt more than tones heard. Vision, rather than hearing, may be the primary mode for communication.

Effect of Hearing Loss on Children

Hearing loss may have a greater effect on children than adults. The degree of hearing loss does not necessarily reflect the degree of impairment. Audiologists licensed under ORS 681, and physicians licensed under ORS 677, may use prevailing professional measurement standards when counseling consumers or purchasers on the effect of hearing loss, in conformance with their training, professional license, code of ethics and practice standards.

For More Information

For more information, contact the Health Licensing Office (HLO) at 503-378-8667 or at