Prognosis question

I don’t have my previous audiogram, but I have had three, each indicating progressive loss. First one was a cookie-bite. Now my audiogram in the right ear and high frequencies is flat as can be at 70db. The left approaches that. Is it possible that my loss may never get much worse than 70db at any frequency? I am 62, and other parts of my body are aging slowly. My father had a hearing loss that HA’s in the 1970’s couldn’t help, which indicates a radical slope.

I asked my audiologist if it would be better to go incognito, or flaunt it. He said incognito would be better for me, and disapproved of my concern about lip-reading skills. Seems like the prognosis is not negative.

Professionals, please advise.

What do you do to protect the hearing you have left?

Good question. Not neurotic about it. Turn them down when sounds get irritating. No live bands-- I rarely drink or even go into bars. My music preferences are Carpenters, Gregorian chant, Bob Dylan, Mamas and Papas, Eagles, classical stuff, nothing that is meant to be loud- I often skip the loud stuff on my MP3, and am thinking of deleting them. Since getting rid of my ex, no motor-sports. I categorically reject people who are loudly argumentative.

If you were into motorsports that could be where a good deal of your hearing went. My sisters audiologist asked her if she drove race cars when she had her hearing tested, she didn’t drive them but went to auto races weekly for about 10+ years with no hearing protection. Her husband swears he can hear fine yet the TV is set so loud you can hear it from 3 houses down the block and when he talks on the phone you can hear him from across the street. Get yourself a good set of noise suppressor type headphones and wear them anytime your around loud noise. I was told to do this by an ENT when I was 10 years old and followed his advice ever since.

Been divorced for 15 years. Before HA’s. Funny I was just talking a few minutes ago with a cousin about this.

So we are looking at multiple causation.

So is YOUR loss stable?

It’s gotten a little worse in the highs over the years, but I’ve been religious about hearing protection ever since the 4th grade. I have never passed a hearing test in my life but was told by the ENT at the time HA’s wouldn’t help, so I have only had them for a few years and they definitely help.

This isn’t really an answer to your question, but something my ENT told me might be of interest to others viewing this thread. When my hearing loss was diagnosed I went to see an ENT in a half-hearted attempt to find the cause for it. I’m young and healthy, with very limited exposure to loud noises and no family history of HL, so I figured it would be unlikely that the ENT could give me any definite answers. And, as expected he couldn’t, but he did tell me something that was quite interesting: That (almost) everyone starts losing their hearing in their 30s, but if you had normal hearing to begin with the “hearing loss” in your 30s will affect frequencies close to (or even above) 20 kHz and it won’t be until your 60s or 70s that frequencies you’re actually using are affected. However, if you have a congenital hearing loss, it’s not uncommon that the age related hearing loss beginning in the 30s hit much lower frequencies. He thought that this might be the reason as to why I have experienced a slow decrease in hearing over the last few years (I’m 34). The audiogram below is my first audiogram ever, though, so there’s no way of knowing whether my HL has actually gotten worse, this is a purely subjective feeling.

It’s also dependent on congenital factors. Some people have resilient hair cells in their cochlear, some don’t. Sensorineural loss will vary enormously amongst those with those the same level of sound exposure.

Under the exposure of loud noise, the small connecting pads that connect the end of nerve fibres to the inner hair cells swell. Over time these pads shrink, in some people they will disintegrate more readily and the attached neurone will disappear. This may not initially be obvious from early hearing tests as other neurones attached to the cell will persist in providing the signal. Repeated exposure will destroy the function and leave the 4kHz notch in you hearing.

Quote from the Bongo http://www.hearingaidforums.com/showthread.php?p=91157#post91157 . Some people are more vulnerable to noise-induced hearing loss, because of lack of resilience in the cochleal hair cells. I deduce from that, if the function of those hairs is taken over by other nearby hairs, they, in their turn, have to work twice as fast, and then die.

I love motorsports but they are NASTY for hearing loss. Motorsports did not cause my hearing loss (loud music and power tools did), because by the time I started going to auto races, I had hearing aids, left them in the car, and went into the track with earplugs well embedded, but nobody should be at an auto track without hearing protection.

It wsn’t a sport, but my father drove a tank during WWII. Evidently it is a hereditary vulnerability. My siblings say none of them has a hearing loss. Ahh- one is a dentist.

I was told by an ENT that mine was hereditary at first and then when I told him I had mumps and measles within a month and a half when I was 4 he changed his diagnosis to unknown cause. I think that sometimes these guys (ENT’s) go into another room and use a dart board or weegie board to come up with their diagnosis. A lot of various drugs can cause temporary or permanent hearing loss and some people are given prescriptions for multiple drugs that the doctor is unaware that they can cause permanent hearing loss. So long and short is it’s up to you to protect the hearing you have left.

OK. Now I understand why incognito is better. It was four years since my last audiogram. I was letting everybody see my ears, expecting others to adapt, and using lip-reading skills, when a new 'gram and re-tuning was all that was necessary to be able to hear well. So to prevent that from happening again, I need to depend on them alone. And scheduling yearly is essential.

Got the insight yesterday when I spoke practically into the ear of an elderly gentleman who also wears HA’s. He responded with something totally irrelevant to what I had said.