I consider myself to be very slightly hard of hearing. I can usually hear what people say ok, but I’ve noticed that there are some high pitched sounds that others can hear but I can’t, and I’ve wondered how this affects hearing speech well. It was mainly out of curiosity that I got my hearing tested, and I’d like it if someone could clarify some points about the results.
Looking at the audiogram, it looks like both ears are very similar:
250 - L&R15db
500 - 20
1k - 20
2k - L20, R25
4k - 25
6k - 60
8k - 80
They said I’m borderline for needing a hearing aid, and that it would be up to me if I decided to go ahead with it. For speech I could get by with asking people to face me when they speak, etc.
- They said that up to 4k, my hearing is normal. What does that mean? Normal for my age (nearly 50)?
- I see my left is slightly better than my right at 2k. How significant is 5 db? Should I try turning my left ear to people to hear better? (I haven’t noticed any difference before.)
- Above 4k, that looks pretty bad to me. They said it’s definitely not age related. How common is that kind of sharp drop off at 4kHz?
- I have constant high pitched tinnitus. Could it be that the loss is really just because I can’t hear those frequencies over it? Same end result, I guess, but would it make a difference to how much a hearing aid could help?
- They said I’d need at least an 8 channel hearing aid to fix the range that’s affected? Why? I can’t find anything about what frequencies any model’s channels cover.
- If it’s because only 8 channel aids cover that range, why don’t they make 4 channel aids that only cover above, say, 4k? It looks like you pay more per channel, so why not?
- They said they can “give me 6kHz, but not 8”. Why not? Would it make any difference?
- Why does everyone talk about getting/having a hearing aid, when you generally need two?
- Why are they so incredibly expensive? The pair they’re suggesting (Unitron Latitude 8, open, BTE) would cost AUD$5000 (similar in USD at the moment). I realise research and development costs money, but in the rest of the electronics world, costs drop and drop with time. Mobile phones cost 1/20 what they did 20 years ago, PCs cost 1/4 and are 100s of times more powerful.