No word or sentence understanding during hearing test

Hi All,

I would appreciate some help from forum members who are profoundly deaf or wear a cochlear implant with some residual hearing remaining in the implanted ear.

I came back from my audiologist appointment this week and to my dismay i had no word or sentence understanding even though the headphone volume was loud enough for me hear the recorded voice but i could not understand anything. I even had the audiologist turn down the volume as the recorded voice was too loud.

As an experiment i placed my iphone speaker at the bottom of the phone and pushed it deep into my most deaf ear at full volume and to surprise i can understand every word Dr Cliff Olsen was saying on his Youtube channel.

The point of this post is that i am wondering if anyone else who is profoundly deaf and had no word/sentence understanding unaided may not know that they can still get words/sentence understanding with their cell/mobile phone speaker pressed inside the ear.

Please if you can try this experiment for me. See below for the experiment and i would appreciate if you can let me know if you also have word/voice understanding even though you don’t have any when listening to a youtube video without hearing aids or cochlear device


Thanks guys and looking forward to the results you obtain.

Try not to become dismayed. I’ll have to reread your first posts, but IIRC, your auditory cortex has been without stimulation for some time. Fact #1 is that you’ll have to actively participate in retraining it to decode the sounds of speech.

As to the phenomenon of being able to hear your iPhone speaker, perhaps the non-occlusive acoustic coupling you’ve invented for your experiment has different phase properties than the coupling obtained with headphones.

Perhaps, too, you may be able to understand because of the fact that the iPhone speakers - by virtue of their own physics - may be delivering a greater proportion of the frequencies you can hear than the acoustically “flat” headphones you were listening through in the audiologist’s office. (What HORRIBLE, tortured syntax, Spud!)

Fact #2 - I dunno. Perhaps Stuart @biggar can shed some light on the phenomenon you’re experiencing.

Do not despair … the Forum is there!

[Watch your back … there may be a sha’k??? Ewww!!]

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Thanks for your valuable feedback as usual. I should add that when i put an amplifier aid (non hearing aid) in my deaf ear i can get complete word/sentence understanding when the speak is 5cm away from the ear at full volume. Turning the volume up only makes the voice louder but still no understanding past 5cm distance. Not sure if that makes a difference. Thanks for your encouragement.

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I think you hit the nail on the head. It must be the electronic voice frequency as it was a female voice and i have sensorineural hearing loss. There must be a lot of folks out there who think they have zero word/understanding even with a hearing aid but when the sound is piped directly into the ear canal they can understand everything. @SpudGunner I’m on dry land Ha ha. i’ have been watching my back for everything lately. Swooshes of wind when i cross the road. Missing hair when a magpie swoops

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That’s why modern HAs have so many adjustable frequency bands. I’m still pretty sure there are some phase effects at work, too .

[We should holler up @kevels55 for his insights into profound hearing loss.]

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You probably have the makings of a dandy ear horn in your oil change and/or still accessories.

The oldies of the past knew a trick or two that we still havent mastered. Wish i was born with cupped ears, lol

PM Tony Blare!!!

Bill Clinton :slight_smile: Hes deaferrr but no cupped ears

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Did i see that ear horn in the Dandy comic. Only a scots would know.

$500 for anyone who tries my experiment!

Hi folks, at the moment, my word comprehension is very poor, it has been getting progressively worse since my Covid vaccination, I am now experiencing distortion, and 1 to 1 conversation with my wife in a quiet setting has become challenging, with very little contextual information…. My wife is a very clear, and concise enunciator, a former social worker for the deaf for over 30 years, like me she signs, but she is far more qualified in sign language than myself, Elspeth has a wealth of understanding, experience and empathy on most aspects of hearing loss, and if I am unsure, I just ask…… I am indeed most fortunate to have an understanding wife! For most folks with a profound loss, it is clarity we seek, I have a set of Phonak Naida Paradise 90 UP BTE’s, they are wonderful aids, or they were until after my first Covid jab, but the 2nd jab was worse, my hearing went way down, and then rallied slightly, but it is now in a downward spiral…. With my aids, I have no problem hearing environmental noises, but speech is a challenge to say the least! On Target 7.1 my MPO on my left is sitting around 132db, that’s loud :rofl: I self-program, but I don’t touch my AuD’s main settings, especially MPO…. I appear to get the most clarity from; DSL v5a Adult, I have tried a few, but I keep reverting back to DSL, sometimes I can hold a conversation via Bluetooth on my iPhone X, but it’s a hit or a miss because of distortion, I cannot hold a conversation on loudspeaker with or without my aids, prior to the Covid jabs, I could just about manage both…. Cheers Kev :wink:

@kevels55 Kev, sorry to hear about your hearing loss being more progressive with the covid19 vaccination. That is disturbing news for anyone getting the jab. I have read some reports about this and had delayed getting the jab. Are you able to read my first post and see if you can hear clearly with 100% word understanding? Would be very keen to hear back from you. Thanks

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Thank you…. I skimmed it @Deafas, for me skimming posts can lead to my misconstrued interpretation, I am dyslexic! I will read it more in depth, and reply later…… Cheers Kev :wink:

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That would be great Kev. No pressure to do the test. I am just very curious as i also can turn the volume up very high on my iphone or television and still have no clarity at a normal distance. The covid19 jabs you had may be a temporary decreased hearing loss. I certainly hope so. Did you receive the same strain each time or 2 different strains as you mentioned you had 2 jabs. Have any other members on this forum had the covid vaccination and noticed their hearing decline? If so, which strain were you vaccinated with? This may have opened up a whole new can of worms for this forum and a new post would be warranted. By the way i noticed your from the Scottish Highlands. Many of my relatives are in Galloway, south west. A fine country indeed!

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@kevels55 I thought you may be interested in reading this article regarding your hearing loss due to the covid19 vaccination. The treatment is 60mg oral steroids and possibly other medication. Please see your doctor first before trying my hearing test as i don’t wish to cause a disturbance with your existing condition. Best wishes in restoring your hearing loss back to the way it was before the vaccinations.

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Just to throw in here. There’s a big difference between association and causation. Yes, some people who got vaccine had SSNH. So did people who didn’t get the vaccine. I’ve seen nothing that suggests that the SSNH is “due to” the COVID vaccine.


I have taken the vaccine as have almost every one in this community, we all got the vaccine early on back in January and February. I haven’t heard of any real ill affects from anyone of about 12000 senior citizens here.


It may be possible that he had a lowered immune system or cold before taking the jabs? In any event a doctor is warranted. best wishes.


So sorry to read this post. A supportive spouse is so very helpful.
Could stress cause this issue? Your background with health issues could have the mind in overdrive.
Good luck