Faking an Ear Test

#1

I was just wondering if its possible to fake a hearing test? When one is asked to press the button when a tone is heard to not actually press it until its louder. Would the audi know that this is incorrect or is this totally subjective?
No reason, just wondering

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#2

They tell you press the button if you think you hear a tone. I only press the button when I know it is a tone, I have tinnitus such that I am always hear different tones.

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#3

Why? Insurance fraud or something?
But are you really going to be able to keep it straight all the way through back and forth until done?

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#4

The audiologist would do a warble sound test. For each tone, audiologist would press three times to see if l hear it. Sometimes it is hard because of ringing in the ears.

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#5

huh? no! I said its for no reason. I was just wondering…Insurance fraud? I didn’t even think of that.

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#6

It would probably be hard to be consistent through the different tests. Inconsistency between pure tone average and SRT is a common way to differentiate. I think it would be pretty easy to differentiate for an experienced examiner. (I’m not an audiologist–I just read a lot) Look up non organic hearing loss if you’re interested.

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#7

Me too–rather musical at times–my audiologist will often use white noise and long tones to help me tell the difference. Fortunately, I mainly notice the tinnitus when I’m in a quiet environment–like the testing booth–or at home when I’m trying to sleep.

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#8

To answer the question…yes…subjective. Up until you’re sitting there with the audi seeing you through the glass as you rip the headphones off from the loud tone but you still aren’t pressing the button. And you’ve presumably had conversation with the audi so they will have a rough idea of where you’re at hearing-wise. Unless you really go all the way and are writing notes or doing sign language to convey your problem.
Good luck with that.
Saying for no reason is like asking something “for a friend”.

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#9

TLDR: An interested audiologist can find you out.

I also have tinnitus and there is a difference between hearing that a beep is played and hearing the beep. Hearing the beep means that you can clearly hear it and know for instance its pitch. Knowing that it is played means that you clearly perceive that the soundscape is different, you hear something repeat, but are not entirely clear on the matter. If you go from louder to softer, you’re more likely to understand those sound as the correct tones, than if you go from softer to louder: Very hard to discriminate the beep from the tinnitus for instance.

For me the difference between those two is typically 5dB. As the test calls for the threshold hearing level, basically where you can hear the beeps for 50% of the time, I would guess that the lower value is what is asked by the test.
However, I usually respond to the audiogram test with the clear answer: When I hear a beep clearly.

My audiologist did an extensive test with word recognition and REM and basically told me that the audiogram was about 3dB too high for optimal hearing.

So there you have it. Even with as little as 5dB difference between your minimum and maximum answers (The test itself claims only 10dB accuracy.) an interested audiologist can find you out.

So why would you want to change your audiogram? Well, for instance, when I was programming my previous aids with DSL (Desired Sound Level), I found that the words were not that clear as I needed them. Changing the audiogram from knowing to clearly hearing, solved the issue much better than just increasing the values by 5dB.

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#10

I don’t have much confidence that the standard hearing test is accurate. With low frequencies, I am sitting listening intently for some sound. As soon as I think I hear something, I press the button. But, in the time it takes me to realize I heard something and the button press, the level has gotten higher. I couldn’t say what the frequency was, since the level is low, and I am in a hurry. On the high frequencies, my tinnitus tends to mask the sound. Using a pulsed tone, or warble tone helps, but with my high loss, I don’t know if there is a tone there or not. I once had an Audiologist stop the test, open the booth door, and ask me if i was aware I had to press the button. The tone he was sending was exactly like my tinnitus, and I just thought it had suddenly gotten worse. It does that at times. While I don’t know if you could actually fake a higher loss, I think you could easily produce results that would confuse the Audiologist. To what end, I couldn’t say.

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#11

Hearing is subjective anyway you look at it. I don’t know any other way to test it. All I know is that my Audi test my hearing then he adjusts my aids and I can hear better, so I believe it is doing all it can do.

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#12

I CHEATED! Back in the 60s, hearing tests were given at school to groups of kids at a time. Instead of listening for the tone, I watched when all the other kids heard it & raised my hand right along with them. :wink:

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#13

If you wish to read 'between the lines", go ahead…but I would have used “For my mom”.
Reason is that I’m an elec engineer that has an interest in HA technology and the subjectivity of the results from audi testing. I wonder why people (including myself) want to at some point revert to self programming. I just want some feedback - and it seems justified by some responses - that some may ‘fake’ their levels to try and get an “enhanced” result - so it gets me thinking, could their be a better method. I obviously don’t know enough about the test gear as I’m not in that field - so more research from my part required.

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#14

I listen to the radio when I go to bed. Helps with the tinnitus.

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#15

If you ‘cheat’ you are only cheating yourself. Nothing to be gained IMHO.

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#16

It’s usually not too bad–I have used the phonak tinnitus app even with other HA’s. Sometimes just thinking about something else does the trick. (And if all else fails a little white dog licking at my ears is a pretty powerful distraction :wink:

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#17

It does happen from time to time but us clinicians have a few tricks up our sleeve if we suspect someone is trying to fudge the test :wink:

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#18

I know for a fact that they can and do check here in the UK as a couple of years ago I requested a test for cochlear implants from NHS, their whole aim would appear to be to prevent you actually getting CI’s (due to costs) as they keep moving the goalposts and over the years the required threshold has altered… prior to the hearing test electrodes are placed around your head and I am assuming here that they check the brain reaction with the corresponding hearing test? So there is no faking… cheers Kev.

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#19

not possible if audi suspect then he repeatedly and randomly play tone by changing intensity and frequency loudness. and you will be trapped easily. and it will be correlated with bone conduction with mri or ct easily show you are lying. so not preferable to faking audiogram. accurate audiogram is key to successful fitting

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#20

The VA has a last test they do. They put a device on top of your head and behind you ear and they run sounds thru the device if it is different than what you are telling them on the button they know you were cheating.

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