Hearing test to fine-tune a hearing aid?

I’ve recently been fitted with a Phonak Audeo YES IX and have been back twice for adjustments. Speech recognition is getting better, but music eludes me. And I admit: I’m picky. And I believe that some of the fine-tuning for music could be applied to (and improve) speech programs. Let me explain…

My hearing loss–due to a sudden accident-- is probably more uneven than most, and I believe that’s causing some of the difficulty. While the higher frequency sounds drop off gradually, there are some peaks and dips in that slope that are hard to pin down.

One obvious peak I have is at 2500 hz, which I discovered using a 30-band sound equalizer hooked up to my home stereo. Dropping the 2500 hz slider by 15 db made a huge improvement. I told my audiologist this, and she adjusted my Phonak aids accordingly. It’s now better, but I still have a peak somewhere in the lower mid-range and another very high up.

So I’m wondering: Can these peaks and dips be found in a hearing test, rather than through trial and error visits? The hearing test I initally had was conducted with such a broad range of tones that they failed to reveal any specific narrow-band dips & spikes in my hearing sensitivity. Thus my hearing aid, as generally adjusted, is boosting certain frequencies that it should be cutting, and vice-versa.

Are audiologists equipped to conduct finer tests (for finer tuning) using a greater number of narrow-band frequencies? Or, perhaps a better question: Can the specific adjustable frequency bands of the Phonak YES IX (whatever the 20-some are in that model) be utilized in a hearing test to determine my range of hearing at those frequencies… then program the hearing aids, then re-test with me wearing the hearing aids?

It would logically seem that I would end up with a near “flat” hearing response to those frequency bands, putting me very close to a “normal,” smooth program for music.

Is this impossible? Other suggestions?

Try this software (Ear Test). Its freeware, you can pick any frequency by hertz. If you want to play and locate thats peaks…

http://www.programming.de/freeware_windows.php

Also, this is trial test tone generator.You can specify frequency range (let say 100-8000 and put time (60 sec, or more if you want slowly) and let is play (slide). You can adjust volume in mean time for your hearing loss. Its 30 day trial.

http://www.esseraudio.com/Test-Tone-Generator-Windows-Software-Generate-Test-Signals-Sine-Pink-Noise-Crest-Factor-Loudspeaker-Audio-Test.htm

I would LOVE to perform ‘high tech’ hearing tests … but in the UK we are legally required to do the tests in a certain defined archaic way … originating from the 1960s I believe.

Also, maybe 80%+ of dispensers are employees of hearing aid fitting companies and so have no freedom in what they do.

The big owners often want the testing, fitting and payment to be completed in an hour or less … so why would they want any more detailed testing to take place?

Also, sadly I suspect that maybe 80% of dispensers do NOT understand hearing or technology sufficiently to be able to use advanced techniques.

Finally, it’s a fact that many elderly clients don’t have the concentration or comprehension to be able to handle sophisticated testing. (As an indicator 75% of over 65s in the UK have NEVER used the Internet).

[quote=Razno;22673]Try this software (Ear Test). Its freeware, you can pick any frequency by hertz. If you want to play and locate thats peaks…

I downloaded the freeware ear test. Thanks! That’s a nifty application. Already I can hear where my ears respond with great sensitivity to specific frequencies, and then drop significantly with just a 100 hz change.

I was using my cheap computer speakers, though. This should really be played through a good hi-fi system. I’ll work on that.

Again, thanks Razno! This should prove quite helpful. (And the price was right!)

So tests are designed for general efficiency, rather than attempt to be thorough? What a pity. After all, we’re talking about someone’s precious HEARING… and something very important to their life.

Perhaps the standard test works resonably well with most efforts to improve speech… But with all the people who must return again, and again, and again many times for “adjustments,” it would seem that a more detailed test would be a better way of uncovering an individual’s hearing anomalies.

Ah, well. Maybe I can still persuade my audiologist to try detailed testing with-and-without the aids. Apparently the equipment is capable of this?

I have hearing problems before but my friend reffered me to specialist, and now my sense of hearing is functioning well. If you have questions about hearing test. This site below might help you:
hearing test

Have a Nice Day! I hope this might help you.

Maybe I can still persuade my audiologist to try detailed testing with-and-without the aids.

Testing with aids fitted is VERY difficult.

The aids will remove pure tones … there might be regarded as noise.

Other frequencies will interact with the feedback manager …

Sooo … you need to test with non-pure tones … you need speech-like test sounds. Or even real speech words.

These tests will need to be in ‘the open’ i.e. NOT under headphones … which means loudspeakers in a calibrated room.

All this is a LONG way from a simple pure tone audiometer test.

In the UK it would also be legally unacceptable to not use the pure tone test.

The last thing a dispenser working for a chain wants is to stretch out testing times more than 10 minutes!

I’m sure that you CAN find a dispenser somewhere who can do all these fancy tests … but you will need to be prepared to pay for it.

Long long time ago, it testing with hearing instruments on and off was a measure of how much gain the instrument was giving you (functional gain). The idea was to have
some sort of verification (this makes sense).

The Test that verifies performance of a hearing aid is the rem test, most specf. “speech mapping”- that is you use a speech like signal to verify audibility. Some of the current
equipment you can, see what % of the speech signal is audible to you given a stimulus of say xyz dbspl.

Im strong advocate, as it does make a dif. - after all consumer report follow up
1000 people and 75% of them where not fitted properly… Speech mapping is part of the
best practices when fitting HI

Are we talking about perception here. And I understand it, perception is reality in the hearing world. Do we hear with our ears or hear with our brains?

Although I think in-office testing is a good place to start, really the only way to get the most out of our hearing aids is by real world verification. And yes, going back to the dispensers office for the adjustments we want to be made.

Unless you have HearSource aids, of course. Then you just go back to the computer room and tweak them yourself. :smiley: