Audiogram: HAs for Both Ears, or Just the Left?

hi everyone,

I was diagnosed this year with otosclerosis.

I have a copy of my audiogram, but don’t know how to read it.

My hearing Doctor sent me to an audi for HA consultation.

The audi feels I need a HA in each ear.

I was hoping to begin with just one HA - in the weaker ear; adding a second one later.

Not sure if my test results are representative of those where one might take such and approach.

If anyone can help ‘decipher’ my chart and by letting me know if my idea to get just the one HA to begin with. is anywhere close to realistic, I’d very much appreciate it.

I have a follow up appointment with my hearing Doctor within the next month
and so I’ll clarify everything at that point, but in the meantime I’m very curious and wouls like to find out as much as possible beforehand.

If anyone can help, but needs info from my audiogram in order to be able to do so, please let me know just what info you need from the audigram and I will post back.

Thanks everyone!

feedback :wink:

On the audiogram, frequencies go across from low (250 Hz) to high (8000 Hz). Going down vertically is the decibel level (usually from 0 to 100 or 110 dB). Circles are for the right ear, and Xs are the left ear. The audiologist makes a mark at the decibel level where you can barely hear that particular frequency.

Generally, two hearing aids are better than one for several reasons. Your auditory system is designed to take information from both ears for the best hearing. Two ears helps most in understanding speech in noisy situations and in determining where sounds are coming from. Also, we can usually set the volume to a lower level when you use 2 aids, making it more comfortable for you. If finances are a big concern, it is usually better to get 2 less expensive aids than one more expensive one.

In addition to what audiogal said, there should also be some symbols like this [ ] on the audiogram. If you have Otosclerosis these will probably be higher up than the O and X. (Note the symbols may also look like this < or >)

So when you post information on your audiogram you will also want to mention where these other symbols are.

I also have to agree with audiogal. Getting just one hearing aid when you have a loss in both ears is a horrible idea. It would be like buying a monocle instead of glasses.

The brain relies on bilateral signals to tell where sound is coming from, and hear sound in the presence of background noise. Using just one aid is well worse than half as good as two.

There is also a tendency for an unaided ear to become lazy and down the road, your results trying to aid that ear will be less effective.

I also agree with audiogal with regards to the money. Better to have two cheap aids, than one state of the art.

Of course as a disclaimer, I’d have to see the audiogram in order to fairly judge the need for two. But if it is recommended, I stand by what I said.

. . . thanks for getting back audiogal and ZCT

Audiogram:

RE: 250Hz 50dB, 500/55, 1K/55, 2K/40, 3K/40,55 (2 circles on top off one another), 4K/55, 4,500/60

LE: 250Hz 75dB, 500/80, 1K/85, 2k/60, 4k/65, 4,500/60

>s are at co-ordinates (or square) 500 @ 30-40, 1K/20, 2-3K/40-50, 4K/40-50.

]s are at co-ordinates 500/60-70, 1K/40-50, 2K/60-70, 4K/60-70

After reading your two posts, I have learned that it is probably best for me to get two HAs. I’ve included the audiogram for your perusal (I hope my data entry format is okay here; please let me know if you need any follow-up clarification), hoping you can confirm what may, to yourselves end up being obvious, and that is that I would need 2 hearing aids. I’m new to this, so I’m just trying to get my bearings. It’s all right if I need to get two; I just want to be more certain that that’s the case.

. . . thanks!

feedback :wink:

you could get mid price instrument with a lot of features
such as noise reduction, directionality

most manufacturer will offer similar mid price instruments…

I would pick the one your audi is confortable fitting…

Based on the audiogram information you have supplied, it looks to me like you have a mixed loss. Part of it is your Otosclerosis and part of it is a nerve deafness. So you’re going to need a fairly strong aid (mixed losses do well with plenty of power - especially with the middle ear issue you have).

There is no question that need help in both ears. One ear would be a mistake.

I suggest you have your hearing professional program some real BTEs with disposable test tips, and let you listen to them. Discover what kind of sound quality you can get.

The biggest question I would have is why your hearing professional has not already done this (assuming he didn’t).

My initial feeling about this kind of loss is that behind the ear hearing aids would be worth considering. With a mixed loss like this you have both nerve and conductive hearing losses that could change in the future. Otosclerosis can progress (or not, depends on the individual). With a quality set of BTEs, they would address your problem now, and can easily be adjusted if things get worse, providing you with a longer term solution.

In the ear devices are less powerful, and may be more susceptible to feedback because of the Otosclerosis.

. . . thanks for getting back Xbulder.

Can you please explain the term ‘directionality’ for me as it realtes to hearing aids? I have some ideas as to what it might mean, but as I’m new to all of this I’d appreciate it if you could define it for me, so I can be sure, thanks!
Your help is much appreciated!

feedback :wink:

. . . thanks for getting back ZCT.

As only recently diagnosed, the inaugural meeting with my hearing professional has yet to take place. When I meet with him, I will make a point of discussing the things you’ve mentioned . . .

I was hoping to acquire ITE for cosmetic consideration.

I do understand the potential benefits you have pointed out for BTE in consideration of my diagnosis, but I’m hoping there’s a way for me to get ITEs with adequate power for my mixed loss as well as not being to prone to feedback due to the otosclerosis.

Naturally I wish to keep the cost of the HAs down, but my primary goal is to get the most appropriate HAs for my situation.

Can you please post back with any follow-up thoughts you may have with regards to the above?

. . . thanks!

feedback :wink:

Can you please explain the term ‘directionality’ for me as it realtes to hearing aids? I have some ideas as to what it might mean, but as I’m new to all of this I’d appreciate it if you could define it for me, so I can be sure, thanks!
Your help is much appreciated!

Hearing aids can have varying levels/strategies for directionality linked to the number of microphones and how they are implemented in the hearing aid system.

The most basic type of microphone configuration is omni-directional, where the hearing aid uses a single microphone that essentially picks up sound equally well all around the wearer. This is useful in quiet situations, but of limited benefit in background noise as it tends to pick up the loudest sounds, that may very well be unwanted background noise. Most hearing aids employ omni directional microphone in at least one of it’s settings as it is the best in quiet and introduces the least amount of microphone noise (hissing).

The next step up is fixed directionality where either a single microphone with two ports or two microphones that are electronically linked (one front and one rear) are used - the timing difference between the sound coming into the front and rear microphones/ports) “cancel” some of the sound from the side and rear, allowing the user to hear better in front. A single two port mic meant you were in almost all cases (models) always in directional mode. Starkey has developed a method of blocking one port when omni is needed using nano-technology. A more widely implemented method of achieving fixed directionality is using two omni directional mics, where the timing is electronically delayed by the hearing aid to achieve front focused directionality when needed or one mic can be turned off when omni-directionality is needed.

One step up from this is adaptive directionality where 2 omni-mics are again employed, but the timing can be electronically adaptively altered to give greatest rear suppression of the single loudest sound behind the user even as it moves around- useful if there is only one loud sound interfering with speech to the front.

The latest hearing aids employ multi-band adaptive directionality, where the hearing aid is able to suppress multiple loud sounds in different frequency bands. Depending on the hearing aid’s complexity this can mean suppression of the two loudest sounds right up to 33 loudest sounds.

A brand new development in directionality is using four microphones instead of two. It does this by using wireless technology where the hearing aid can link up all four hearing aid mics (2 or each side) and make them work together in an array to achieve even better directionality in user selectable directions (not just to the front -eg in a car you’d be more likely to want to hear better to the sides in order to hear your passengers rather than the windscreen). A good example of such a hearing aid is the Phonak Exelia.

Hope this is clear enough. I tried to stay away from technicalities as much as I could.

A full sized ITE (I assume you are talking about a full concha aid) is going to be every bit as noticeable as BTEs in my opinion. Modern ear molds for BTEs can be clear plastic, perhaps even a skeleton design where the mold is hidden even more. The portion that goes behind the ear can be hidden under hair, and is a lot smaller than older aids you may have seen.

All that said, in the product range I frequently dispense I can go to about 60dB of gain in an ITE, 70dB in a regular BTE or 80dB in a larger power BTE.

So if ITE is what you think will work for you, as long as the hearing professional recommends a good brand with good feedback suppression, then you should be fine. 60dB is a LOT of gain.

yes, hearnow, I follow that.

Thanks so much for taking the time. With advance information such as this, I feel like I’m in a much more knowing position to dialogue more productively with my audi when I meet with him to initiate my inaugural fitting.

Your feedback is inspiringly contributory! Once gained, I hope to be able to share my experience as with the forum as well.

. . . thanks again!

feedback :wink:

Thanks for the very helpful follow up ZCT!

feedback :wink: