Uncomfortable Loudness Level (UCL)

What is Uncomfortable Loudness Level (UCL)?

Uncomfortable Loudness Level (UCL) is a measurement that is often made prior to the ordering of or programming of a hearing aid that determines, for speech or tones, the intensity level that a patient considers to be the most acceptable in regard to the overall comfort of the signal. It is a measure of how loud a sound can be before it becomes uncomfortable to hear.

What is the normal uncomfortable loudness level?

The normal UCL varies depending on the person and the type of sound being presented. However, in general, the UCL for speech is around 100-110 decibels (dB) HL.

What does UCL mean on a hearing test?

On a hearing test, UCL is often measured along with the hearing threshold. The hearing threshold is the softest sound that a person can hear. UCL is the loudest sound that a person can comfortably hear.

What is the most comfortable level in audiology?

The most comfortable level in audiology is called the Most Comfortable Listening Level (MCL). MCL is the level at which a person finds sound to be the most comfortable. It is usually lower than the UCL.

What does UCL mean on an audiogram?

UCL is often plotted on an audiogram as a dashed line. The audiogram is a graph that shows a person’s hearing thresholds for different frequencies. The UCL line is plotted above the hearing threshold line.

Why is UCL important?

UCL is important because it helps to determine the maximum output level of a hearing aid. The hearing aid should not be set to a level that is louder than the UCL, as this could cause discomfort or even pain.

How is UCL measured?

UCL is measured using a procedure called a loudness discomfort level (LDL) test. In an LDL test, the audiologist presents a series of tones at increasing levels until the person reports that the sound is uncomfortable. The highest level that the person can tolerate is the UCL.