Costco hearing test question

I just got my test done at costco, which I went with the intention of buying hearing aids. My hearing has been on the decline for a while. What I didn’t expect was the audiologist told me that my speech discrimination was too bad, hearing aids would not likely help me. She recommend going to an E.N.T. for further testing. My right ear was a 48% and my left 40%. She tried to put it nicely but said she was shocked someone my age would have this score. I was quite shocked and upset. I knew my hearing was impaired but essentially untreatable? I can help but feeling this test was flawed. I have an appointment next week with E.N.T. Has anyone been retested with better results?

Wait to see what the ENT has to say. I never put too much credence into one data point. Do you know what kind of loudness level your tests were done at?

1 Like

Here is my chart.

I am not sure where it says what loudness level this is at. Is it the db? Thanks for your input.

Your word recognition test was done at 85 dB. How do you function in everyday life? Are people yelling at you and you still can’t understand? Do you rely on lip reading? I have no training, but I’d be skeptical of the test results until proven otherwise. I think seeing the ENT is a good idea

1 Like

Yes, that was a shock. Her advice to visit an ENT before getting aids was good advice.

Now, don’t despair! I have worse WRS and get by pretty well. (Right ear is 16.) I do have some situations that are bad but, by-and-large, I lead a normal life. Noise and soft voices will be harder for us than for someone with a normal loss. An ENT can sometimes provide a surgery that improves things dramatically for many. People here have had that work wonders.

Aids will help. Just not the the extent they help others. Understand you’ve gotten to this point without augmentation and aids will make things better for you. The fitter’s remarks were a bit off base be she also wanted you to see and ENT and that made her be a bit over the top.

1 Like

No quite the opposite. I feel like I have mild hearing loss. I’ve been a college student for the last 2 years and am working as a waitress too. I am fine face to face with people. Some trouble on the phone, sometimes and when people are across the room. I was extremely tired when the test was done.

That is interesting. I guess it is possible that the equipment was malfunctioning. I think you should first get another test in a clinic or different Costco. If you are at UIC, you might ask at Stroeger if they have an audiology department.

Understand, that my ears are much worse all-around and I can still cope with many situations without wearing aids. It is especially true that a younger mind can adapt to situations more easily. If the test was accurate, you should do great with aids.

If you go back to a Costco, they have a service where they fit aids to you and you walk around the store and can chat with the demo ladies or bring a friend to chat with. You might find it very informative.

I noticed you had your audiogram up. I looked at it and would be surprised if you’ve bad WRS scores. Something seems fishy but I’m not informed enough to guess further. Maybe one of the practitioner on the forum can clarify.

I can’t really see your numbers, but I have been tested and treated by audiologists, specialized ear docs etc. I had an attack of sudden single-sided hearing loss and in spite of doing everything, it is permanent. One ear only. My word recognition is 4 out of 25 and I guessed those four. My good ear was 23 or 24 out of 25 words.

All the hearing professionals said that aids might not help (I think they were trying to break it to me gently), but that the brain would benefit from bilateral sound. To make a long story short, my bad ear still has horrible to no clarity, although sounds are audible.
Sometimes life gives you rotten lemons and there is nothing you can do about it.
I’m very sorry for this loss. It is difficult to accept and worse to live with. Do you also have tinnitus?

I had the same occur from a bout with Meniere’s, @robink. I too was told that 1 aid might be the best option. I tried 2 and am glad I did. 2 aids give better noise reduction and directional features. But, I found that sounds/speech seemed fuller. I’d at least try two.

I had tinnitus and it was bad when I was having Meniere’s attacks. Now it is a seldom occurrence. Some find tinnitus is reduced significantly by just wearing aids.

One thing I would do before showing up at the ENT’s office is to clean your ears. Unless the Costco guy checked them. For me Wax really screws up my discrimination of words in speech.
And I would also add that it was probably a good thing you stopped by Costco!
Good Luck

I agree with your comments about an aid in the bad ear.
My tinnitus got worse in that ear and has taken on multiple iterations. I especially notice it today. It is raining hear and the main buzz sounds very electronic.

I had my regular dr. do this about a week ago, I felt like it helped tinnitus in my left ear a bit.

My doctor suggested limiting salt, caffeine, nicotine and potassium.

Weather and stress can be a factor along with sleep deprivation. Some say alcohol.

I changed to decaf. Seldom enjoy a banana. Watch the salt. But, enjoy my pipe and the occasional adult beverage.

For me some voices are just easier to understand than others. I was in Costco last week to buy a new set and my WRS improved over the last test (couple of years ago). I think it depends a lot on the word choice–for example, for me I can tell the difference between “bog” and “fog” but probably not between “fog” and “hog” because B is a hard consonant but F and H are soft.

In language context is king–English is a hard language to lip read but if someone is talking about the weather this morning I’m pretty sure they said “fog” not “hog” :slight_smile:

You may want to make an appt with an ENT Dr and a Dr of Audiology (not sure if that’t the right title), but they are more specialized in inner ear, nerves etc. wit no specialization in nose, throat. I have one ear that is 20% in speech clarity so I use bi-cross system to transmit my bad ear side to good (not great) ear. You may find with further test, maybe some treatment in addition to aids (specifically programmed) may turn out to be helpful. Clearly, if you are communicating decently now, you also are getting good at lip reading. I suspect whatever your hearing problem is improvement is clearly possible.

I’ve been reading all the questions on your subject. I have a Phonack hearing aid in my right eat and because I have no high frequency in my left ear the audiologist told me a hearing aid wouldn’t work in that ear. He gave me, what they call, a cross over aid. It’s programmed with my right HA. Any sounds that come from my left side crosses over to the right side. I’m not sure how it works, but I can hear sounds from the left side. So, this may be an answer for all you on forum to ask about.

Ok, here’s my update. Yes, the test at Costco was flawed.I have since gotten 2 more audio grams from 2 different audiologists.My speech discrimination at 65 db is 72% in left and 80% in right from one audiologist and had another one today and both ears scored 90% at 70 db. The difference between the costco test and other audiologist was costco test was a recorded male voice while the other’s were spoken live maybe that is why the results were so different. Now I begin my quest to find HA. I am thankful this forum has great insight into the many different options.


Great! btw> If you don’t like username ba16993a47bbef578138 then it’s real easy to change it. Just click the link in Tip#3-Hearing Tracker Tips.

You might want to look up CROS and BICROS

I did look up CROS and BICROS and thank you. It explains both and I found out I have the BICROS.