What's in this blog? Hearing Loss and Hearing Aids

"Mankind is terrified of silence, is uncomfortable in the quiet, is this the reason they need so much going on around them that is noisy? "

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Other Parts of My Hearing Test

One set of test results concerned me more than some others was the Speech Test. What is a Speech Test?

from web page posted by Dayton Ear Nose and Throat  Dayton Ear Nose and Throat web page

During speech discrimination testing the audiologist typically will present monosyllabic words in a quiet environment. However, to gain more insight into how well an individual understands speech in conditions that are similar to everyday situations, monosyllabic words may be presented in the presence of competing noise, cafeteria noise, or multi-speaker babble. The presentation of speech in competing noise is a more realistic approximation of typical communication functioning.
The discrimination score is a representation of how well an individual will do with hearing aids. Those with good or excellent scores are expected to do extremely well with hearing aids and will hear very much like an individual who has normal hearing. Individuals with poor discrimination scores are expected to still have some difficulties even with hearing aids. However, their ability to understand conversation with hearing aids is expected to be much better than without hearing aids.

Speech Discrimination Scores

Correct interpretation:
  • 100%-90% Excellent understanding of speech
  • 89%-90% Good understanding of speech
  • 79%-70% Fair understanding of speech
  • 69%-60% Poor understanding of speech
  • 59%-50% Markedly reduced understanding of speech
My test scores are;
80% in the right ear which is Fair
68% in the left ear which is Poor

This is pretty accurate picture of my experiences listening to other people. My new hearing aids and Streamer using Blue Tooth have made a significant improvement in how well I can understand what is being said to me. I use lots of numbers and a lot of computer terms in my conversations at work and on the phone with customers, peers and tech support. I have learned the hard way to repeat back what has been said to me and use the phonetic alphabet to spell certain words and phrases.

What's a Phonetic Alphabet?

The SRT Score

Speech audiometry includes determining speech reception threshold (SRT) and testing of word recognition . Speech reception threshold testing determines the faintest level at which a person can hear and correctly repeat easy-to-distinguish two-syllable (spondaic) words. Examples of spondaic words are "baseball," "ice cream," "hot dog," "outside," and "airplane." Spondaic words have equal stress on each syllable. The individual repeats words (or points to pictures) as the audiologist's voice gets softer and softer. The faintest level, in decibels, at which 50% of the two-syllable words are correctly identified, is recorded as the Speech Reception Threshold (SRT). A separate SRT is determined for each ear.
Tests of word recognition attempt to evaluate how well a person can distinguish words at a comfortable loudness level. It relates to how clearly one can hear single-syllable (monosyllabic) words when speech is comfortably loud. Examples of words used in this test are "come," "high," "knees," and "chew." In this test, the audiologist's voice (or a recording) stays at the same loudness level throughout. The individual being tested repeats words (or points to pictures). The percentage of words correctly repeated is recorded for each ear.
Thus, a score of 100% would indicate that every word was repeated correctly. A score of 0% would suggest no understanding.
Word recognition is typically measured in quiet. For specific purposes, word recognition may also be measured in the presence of recorded background noise that can also be delivered through the audiometer.

My SRT scores were 30 for right ear and 35 in left ear. In brief I have a very hard time distinguishing words.

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