Did you know that mild hearing loss begins at a loss of 26 decibels (dB)? For comparison, a whisper is often measured between 20 and 30 dB. There are a lot of beautiful, fun, important and interesting sounds that cannot be heard by people with mild to moderate hearing loss (26-55 dB hearing loss range). Sound affects humans in several profound ways, and you might be missing out. Here is a list of ten common sounds that you could be missing due to mild or moderate hearing loss:
10. Mosquitoes: This is a rare benefit of hearing loss—not hearing noises that are unpleasant or annoying! The buzzing of a mosquito charts at around 20 dB, so a person with even mild hearing loss would probably miss out on this one.
9. Normal conversation: Regular voice levels normally fall somewhere between 50 and 65 dB. Moderate hearing loss includes those who cannot hear up to 55 dB, so you might be missing out on important conversations!
8. Coffee machine: The smell of fresh coffee in the morning is the best thing to wake up to, but the steady drip of a coffee percolator is almost as good! A coffee machine makes around 55 dB of sound, so if you have moderate hearing loss you may be missing out.
7. Bacon sizzling: Want some fresh bacon with that morning coffee? Bacon cooking in the pan is under 55 dB, so with mild to moderate hearing loss, you might not be able to fully experience this (you’ll still have the smell, though!)
6. Waking a sleeping person: The average voice level used to wake someone that’s asleep is around 45 dB, but if you’re sleeping and suffer from moderate hearing loss, you may be much harder to wake up!
5. Breathing: At 10dB, a person with mild or moderate hearing loss would most likely not be able to hear breathing—either their own or another person’s. Listening to one’s own breathing often has a calming effect, especially if you are doing yoga or trying to sleep, for example.
4. Rustling leaves: The sound of rustling leaves, softly blowing in the wind, is a gentle and graceful sound that can make an outdoor stroll even more relaxing.
3. Rainfall: Who doesn’t love to listen to the rain while they’re cozy in bed or curled up by a fire? The soothing sound of rain tapping against your window or roof is definitely something you want to be able to hear!
2. Stream: A bubbling stream is around 40 dB, and, like rainfall, is one of those incredibly calming sounds. Sitting quietly by a babbling brook can do wonders for your stress levels and mental health.
1. Bird calls: Bird calls are measured around 40-45 dB, so a person with mild or moderate hearing loss may be missing out on these pleasant sounds. Bird calls can be therapeutic and boost mental health, and even unconsciously signal safety or danger.
There are so many sounds that you might be missing due to mild or moderate hearing loss, so remember be vigilant with your hearing health. You don’t want to miss out on the sounds listed above or anything else!