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Saturday, December 4, 2010

My New Audiogram

As I mentioned in my previous post, I had a new audiogram this week. Before the test began, I asked my audiologist if I could have the test done with my hearing aids in so I could see how much they help me. She agreed, but had technical difficulties with her equipment so the result on the pure tones was unusable. On the speech recognition part, I got 88% correct unaided and 100% correct aided. That's good to know as I mainly wear hearing aids to help me understand speech.

This was the result of my latest hearing test. As I had suspected, my hearing loss is greater than before. You can see how much by looking at the graph below where I've plotted both audiograms.

I'm disappointed my hearing has declined a little but not surprised.


Jonathan said...

Hold on, Sarah.

Are you aware that our results on the audiogram can vary between 10dB and 20dB?

All the differences between your old and new results are within the 10dB and 20dB range. So, don't be too quick to think that you've lost hearing.

My results have been shifting every year, but they all are within this 10dB and 20dB range. I've actually made a spreadsheet that lays out what results I got at every frequency over the years. I often bring it to my audiologist if I'm seeing a new one so that s/he can see the variations that I get over the years. S/he always appreciate it as it's a better summary than flipping through 20-odd audiograms that I have been collecting since I first got one done.

SpeakUp Librarian said...

Thanks, Jonathan. I didn't know that.

Cheryl said...

Hi Sarah,
I hope that what Jonathan said is the case for you. I'm sorry that this is an ongoing challenge you have to deal with.

Say hi to Charlie and Rob.

kim said...

He's right. The results can vary. But you are also right. You know how much harder you're having to work.

A five or ten db loss in the speech tones can be significant. Your loss between 2000 and 4000 is very, very steep. Your good low tones must be drowning out the speech tones you can't hear. But it sounds like you're making good use of the sounds you hear and you're doing great with your aids in a quiet environment! :-)

deafdude said...

Thanks for sharing your most recent audiogram. It's very similar to my dad's audiogram which I'll have to post in my blog. What kind of speech test was this and was it sentences or words? Your score looks good regardless. I am curious what my dad would score. He does say he can understand 75% of the TV without CC, what about you without HAs? With HAs?

Dan Schwartz said...

Hi Sarah!

You have what is called a ski-slope hearing loss, where the audiogram literally "falls off a ski slope."

These used to be difficult to amplify; but with the advent of open fit hearing aid earmolds and digital feedback reduction circuits, they work a lot better than they did 15 years ago.

The critical spot is where each curve crosses 60 decibels hearing level (hearing loss), which indicates that the particular spot has no more outer hair cells. Go to this Greenwood (pitch-placement) chart and you'll see where the various pitches are detected in a typical cochlea.

In your case, 60 decibels is not crossed until you get to about 6 kHz, so conventional hearing aids will work pretty well. The reason the 60dB figure is important is that when you no longer have any of the soft, light outer hair cells, sound detection is shifted to the stiffer, heavier inner hair cells, which badly distorts the sound (cochlear distortion).

When you get your next pair of hearing aids, if the point where you cross 60 dB is 3kHz or less, then you should get frequency shifting hearing aids -- Widex calls it Audibility Extender and Phonak calls it Sound Recover.

See you at the HLAA Convention in June!

SpeakUp Librarian said...

Hi Deafdude,
It's been a little while since the test but I remember it as words rather than sentences. It's hard for me to judge how much TV dialog I catch without HAs and CCs - it really depends on the show and the tv volume. Sometimes it's ok for me and other times not. I don't watch much tv on a regular basis.

SpeakUp Librarian said...

Hi Dan,
Thank you for the additional information concerning my audiogram. That's very helpful to know.