Speech comprehension test under ideal conditions

A person goes for a hearing test and then the audiologist makes adjustments to your volume based on your hearing test results and then runs a speech comprehension test. You’re sitting in a sound proof room with no outside distractions so your test results are under ideal conditions. But hearing aid manufacturers all claim their aids improve speech comprehension to a certain degree. But if your test results show you have a 50% speech comprehension than hearing aids can’t improve on that. So I assume hearing aids can only help to get you closer to that 50% threshold. Although that’s not what they claim. Or am I missing something?

1 Like

My hearing test and includes word recognition without hearing aids in a noisy environment. Then my Audi uses that information to set my aids

Myself & my son have Widex aids. As he is in school his speech recognition tests are done against a background noise machine by the education support team. His Widex Evoke F2s gave him 93% with the domes and then 100% with custom tips at certain dB levels. Yes a speech recognition test in a silent room won’t be the same as a real life environment, hopefully it helps the set up in some way!

2 Likes

My understanding of speech understanding is based on the results from the booth without aids.
The test are done on each ear at different sound levels, dB. Hearing can be expected to do as well as this test with aids.
But, the brain is very flexible. It is possible for a persons hearing to get better than the original word recognition tests from the booth.

1 Like

With a loss like yours, hearing aids are really limited on what they can do for speech comprehension. I’m not sure word recognition scores are an absolute limit, but they certainly do suggest you’re not going to get a lot higher with hearing aids. Doesn’t mean hearing aids are useless. They along with other incremental clues (lip reading, body language, familiarity) can all contribute to the ability to communicate.

1 Like

Just so we understand. I wasn’t referring to my self. I know where I stand with my test scores. My question is that with test results taken under optimum conditions how can hearing aids really improve on that since they never work under optimum conditions. There’s always going to be some kind of conflict interfering with your ability to comprehend. Even with aids that suppress background noise suppression isn’t the same as no background noise. So how does a manufacturer claim improved speech comprehension. Compared to what. Certainly not compared to your test results.

Maybe my speech comprehension is done with no background noise because it’s so bad. I think I already know what my speech comprehension with noise. Close to zero. So maybe it’s just me.

I think this goes to taking notes on one’s experiences and working with one’s audiologist / hearing aid fitter based on those experiences. I have problems in background noise - they might change noise suppression, they might reduce some frequencies that are amplified and increase some others… You’re right though, comprehension in an office isn’t representative of the real world.

1 Like

Thank you to everyone. I was just curious because manufacturers are alway bragging about hearing comprehension improvements and it just made me wonder. But everyone is different. But then again manufacturers like everyone to think their aids are best for everyone. And if that were the case we’d all be wearing the same brand.

1 Like

I think they’re claiming improved speech comprehension over what you have currently without additional gain. Speech comprehension tests are done with a volume that you can hear, similar to a hearing aid that has equal gain across all frequencies. Well adjusted hearing aids will try to target frequencies where the most gain is needed. I’m guessing that people who have ski slope losses might improve their compreshension scores somewhat more with hearing aids than somebody with a flat loss.

With out my aids my scores are 68% in my left ear and 60% in my right ear with my latest test. Which is about 15% better than my test 18 months ago. I have been working on my word recognition through therapy. My word recognition with my aids are running at 90% for my left ear and 80% for my right ear. The therapist and my Audi were both surprised by my latest test

2 Likes

If you’re talking about improving speech recognition is by reading lips that’s usually avoided during testing. Otherwise how do you improve it?

Interesting thread. I must admit that I don’t really have much of an interest in these kind of percentage scores that are determined by the audiologist after going through a battery of tests with me in a booth, wearing a headset but with no hearing aids. I have a very subjective sense of whether my word recognition is getting better or worse by my ability to understand speech in conversation or in listening to the TV using the TV Connector. With my present aids (Naida M90 BTE) I do notice a marked improvement in listening to speech using them over the aids I had been using. I am more relaxed in different environments when speech is present than I used to be rather than zoning out like I used to. So my subjective sense is that the huge cost of these aids and accessories are well worth every cent spent.

My therapist and I have been working together over a FaceTime calls a few times a week it starts out with her saying words and me repeating them just like the test, she is has been working with me to find out what vowels and consonants I am not recognizing. Then she and my Audi talk to figure out how to boost certain frequencies in my aids. And also ways for me to learn to recognize them even without my aids. I am sure it isn’t cheap, but the VA is providing it for me. I was told at first it would be only for a month, but t has been extended for as long as I am making progress.

2 Likes

Well I’m happy for you. Really. But it doesn’t sound like the aids themselves are doing much and that’s really where my curiosity lies since the manufacturers all claim that their aids themselves improve speech comprehension. But I’m glad you’re making headway because poor speech comprehension seems to be the area where people that can hear take it personally and don’t understand at all.

Gramps I just bought the marvel naida 90s and my comprehension seems to have improved in some situations. But I think that’s probably a result of the more powerful aids compared to what I was using. The resound azure. But it’s nice to go out in the morning and hear the birds singing.

2 Likes

It is both my aids and the therapy, I am almost 30% better with my aids than without them. There are lots of sounds I cannot hear without my aids.
And as an added note, the hearing aids I have today will not reach my target prescription needs, they are falling short by about 6 - 9 db. I will be getting my new aids on Tuesday, and I am looking forward to finding out how much better I can do.

Over the past 12 to 18 months I have had different UP, SP, and RIC aids.
It took the UP aids to learn I am deaf in the 2000 and 3000 hertz up frequencies. What this means it didn’t matter how much gain you put in those frequencies, it would not help speech recognition.

That’s when I started using frequency lowering technology very aggressively. This technology brought a whole new world of sound to me that I have not heard in many years. I could hear birds, alarms, turn signals, music and so much more. It was flat amazing. But, all this new sound was confusing and overwhelming as far as speech understanding goes. It took about 3 months of this crazy speech confusion for it to start making sense. Slowly I started understanding speech better. It’s not great but much better than it was.

What this means is a person can get speech recognition back to some degree. It just depends on the effort put into it.

1 Like

There’s hearing loss as measured by pure-tone thresholds.
There’s synaptopathy caused by loss of connections between the hair cells and the auditory nerve and which may not show up on a standard hearing test and normally shows as problems with hearing in noise.
There are numerous possible processing issues at various levels of the auditory pathway.
There are various combinations of all of the above.

To think that because our audiograms are similar we will get similar benefit from hearing aids is simplistic.

In my case, I bought the most expensive aid in the Oticon line-up because I hoped that would finally help me hear in noise. It never happened and I’m starting to believe it never will. I definitely need aids but I probably would have done just as well with the budget model.

1 Like

What is this therapy called?is it a specific program?