I am a 72 year old male, and I have hearing loss. My hearing loss has nothing to do with the volume of the sounds that I hear. I had a hearing test about 10 years ago, and I decided that it was a waste of my time. What the test was is that I had tones to hear at different frequencies and volume levels, and nothing more. No test of my ability to recognize sounds more complex than tones. No distortion of sounds, no background noises. They told me I had no hearing lose, but what they tested for is not my problem. One of my problems is background sounds, like trying to understand somebody in a crowded noisy room, Another problem is if the person has an accent, or runs his words together. If I go to a performance of Shakespeare, I have no idea what they are saying. I have so much difficulty hearing somebody with an accent on a on a poor quality telephone line. I think it is not my inner ear, it is my brain. It’s hearing sounds, But it is not parsing them. Have hearing tests advanced beyond where they were 50 years ago or not?
There are other tests they can run, but the tonal audiogram is still the standard. I’m going to guess that 10 years ago you had some high frequency loss that they didn’t think was worth treating. Odds are that it’s worsened. Assuming you’re in the US, Medicare should cover the cost of a hearing test. I’d try to find an audiologist that is recommended to you and tell them your concerns at the beginning of the appointment.
I learned from a conversation with my audiologist that she has hearing aid patients with a normal audiogram, no hearing loss. They have an auditory processing disorder affecting speech comprehension.
At my Costco hearing test a few days ago, the etsting included hearing male and females voices saying short sentences, and testing my ability to hgear and repeat back those exact sentences. As the testing progressed, louder and louder background noise was introduced to assess it impact on my comprehension. Also, the audi said a long list of specific words with different difficult content which I needed to hear, understand, and repeat back. So, yes, modern audiometric testing IS substantially more detailed than the traditional audiogram, and DOES recognize that COMPREHENSION is as important as “hearing”…
I once thought that but it really isn’t correct. It wasn’t until I got hearing aids that I realized how many different things I couldn’t hear, and just how bad my hearing really was. I have now been wearing aids for almost 20 years and it is a blessing to be able to hear birds sing, to hear turn signals, and to hear my grand children talking and laughing.
Hear in the UK, what you describe is still the standard pure tone test @thomehm, unlike our American cousins, Word Recognition Scores (WRS) are not standard practice here, aided or unaided, I wish they where! Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) is an extremely rare condition, it is therefore fairly certain, a pure tone test will be quite accurate… But, going 10 years unaided, if you did require aids, can have a severe detrimental effect on your brain’s ability to process sound/speech, you may very well have to relearn some words & sounds, once you get hearing aids? Those who neglect to have hearing aids, run the risk of the early onset of Alzheimer’s Disease, it is a known trigger, because of the lack of cognitive stimulation of the brain… Good Luck, I hope you get tested soon…cheers Kev
I go to the VA audiology clinic and every clinic and every audiologist i have seen prioritize the word recognition test. Yes i get a quick tone test but only after an extensive word recognition test. I am tested with male, female and foreign speaker where English is a secod language, usually male and female.
I understand what you are describing. Definitely try again. Word recognition is usually part of testing, so choose an audiologist that includes it to get a better picture. I often find people say “I don’t have any trouble “hearing” things, it’s understanding the words - people mumble.” Well…that usually indicates hearing loss. Former boss of mine, when I suggested he might benefit from hearing aids, let me know that it was just his sinuses and clogged ears. 10 years later he wrote to me to say I was right - he now has aids.
I am 77yr old and have been wearing the same HAs for 6 years. (Widex). I’m tested every year and my Tone Testing part of the Audiograms are always very similar but my Acuity percentage has been getting much worse. Is that what shows up when I can hear a person speaking but having more and more trouble hearing the exact words they are actually saying. I’m told I need new HAs…but is that really the problem? Is this something you can identify with?
I am not an expert, however I will share that each time I got new hearing aids, after just years each time, I noticed great improvement in the technology. My hearing was getting worse, but the HAs could help counter that decline a bit better than the last pair. Now I have a CI in my worst ear.
Thanks for your input joanhawsey. I agree that may be the problem. The only way I will find out is to trial new HAs and see if it really makes a difference.