Speech Discrimination

Hello all, I need something clarified for me,and hoping some of the Audios out there could possibly help me. I have both low and high freq. loss in both ears. Starting at 70 db @ 250 and rising to almost normal 20 db @ 2k, then dropping back down to about 80db @8k. Kinda looks almost like an inverted letter v. I have previously tried some cic aids in the past( 4 yrs. ago) but none worked very well. Its been 4 yrs. since that and now I had decided to try again. my audiogram hasnt changed in 6 yrs but my speech discrimination is zip.I hear what she is saying but cant seem to figure out exactkly what the word is. My Audi says because of that, a hearing aid will not help me and that i need to look into a Cochlear Implant. Well, that is a pretty big decision and I wanted to ask here for any opinions.My Audi had seen my previous audiograms and was talking about trying the “Yuu” since she said there has been a lot of improvements in the last 4 yrs… After my tests she then decided that hearing aids wont help based on my bad speech dicrimination. Im not deaf, my hearing is bad, but I`m kinda puzzled about all this.I would think that I should try some aids to see if they help the speech discrimination. Any opinions are well appreciated.

I have read not long a go an article which talks about deprivation and what happends when you neglect to use hearing aids, how speech discrimination
declines steeply. The study suggested that after some months of using amplification with some sort of speech therapy (perhaps lace) speech disc.
seems to improve (not much but a little…)…

A cochlear implant could be the right solution, but you need to make sre you are an ideal candidate for it, for which you need to speak with an ENT get all the preliminary work in order to see if this is a real option.

I would also strongly suggest to use an FM system (the new ones - the phonak and Oticon) can be used with the cochlear freedom… You would need this.

keep in mind, that if you decide to get a CI, you need some programing- similar to a HI. I have seen real good results with a CI, defenetly an option worth keeping…

Thank You for the response. I have heard a little about Lace,not sure exactly what it is…I need to look into that. Also was wondering how my speech recognition could get worse and my audiogram stay the same…

My Audio says I am a good candidate, and should apply for candidacy.

Not sure what the FM system is …

My speech recognition seems to be dependent upon the tone and freq… Sometimes I do much better depending on the tone or pitch of the persons voice. I know it makes a big difference … Some people I can hear better than others. The Audi didnt try any different tones or anything though .. I dont know how important that might be.

The CI is a big step,surgery and all ,with many risks. I need very sure that HA won`t help before I go that route…

Thank You.

Most cochlear implant centers will have you try a hearing aid first to make sure you do not get significant benefit before undergoing surgery.

Yes, I knew that they would do that.I was just thinking that I may be able to benefit from a high end digital aid, re-learning some sounds over a long period of time that may help with the speech discrimination.

I have 0% on speech discrim tests. My audi doesn’t even do them with me anymore because there isn’t a point. Having said that, I still wear hearing aids. I don’t have the same type of loss configuration as you, and I am deaf. I also mostly live as a culturally Deaf person (signing, not speaking/speech reading) if it is do able. I can speak and I can speech read but that is getting off topic.

Anyway, when my hearing changed a while ago my speech discrim changed first. Speech discrim has to do with other factors other than the loss (correct me if I am wrong) such as cochlear distortion, amoung other things.

My loss is between 105-120 dB from 250-1000Hz and no response beyond that. With the aids I can sometimes identify my name, and ‘yes’ and ‘no’ other than that I have no speech discrim at all. I still wear the aids though and i refuse to get a cochlear implant.

seems like a ideal candidate for a CI

JennyB, Yes I still would like to try hearing aids,although my latest Audi says they wont help. Im wondering if a program like “LACE” might help my discrimination…
As for the CI, at first I was like, no way, but I have an on going topic at Yahoo Groups from actual CI recipients. You would be suprised at their results… from near nothing to 90% discrimination and noirmal sounds… Of course, everyone is not the same…The name of the group is CI ,I hope its ok to say that here. Very informative. Anyway, Im looking at my alternatives,trying to make a good decision.

I am well aware of the possibly benefits of a CI. I am also well aware that I am a perfect candidate for it. Having said that, I am also culturally Deaf. I realise that there is a swing in the Deaf community that is allowing the acceptance of CI’s but it is not the right option for me. I get very overwhelmed with too much sound and I really prefer ASL over Spoken English to communicate. If Spoken English was my preferred method of communication I might be looking at it differently.

I have done the research, and talked to many people before deciding not to do it. I like my quiet world and I want to keep it!

what do you do for work? you do you support yourself?

Yes I do support myself. I own a car, and I have a fantastic 1 bedroom apartment in a very good part of town!

I work as a Personal Support Worker. I provide one-one support in community settings, as well as at home. I also work as a sexual health educator, and have a small administrative job as well. I have very strong oral skills, and speech reading too. I use them as needed but overall prefer ASL.

If anything being Deaf has helped me in my field. I am also a University student studying humanities.

good for you…

You sound skeptical. Speak your mind, I know the feelings many people (especially audiologist and health care professionals) have about culturally Deaf folks.

Culturally deaf? What do you mean by that? That you were raised by deaf people or in a deaf environment?

Culturally Deaf refers to people who align with Deaf culture. ASL is the prefered method of communication, we attend Deaf events, have Deaf friends, and live in a world where being Deaf is embraced, not a problem to be fixed. Many culturally Deaf people do use hearing aids, and speak/speech read some times but like I said ASL is the prefered and main method of communication. A capital ‘D’ in the word Deaf represents this culture. A lower case ‘d’ represents the audiological interpretation of deaf. I am both deaf and Deaf, though some Deaf people are audiologically hard of hearing.

I use ASL in my personal life, at school (interpreters), at events (interpreters) and perfer this over speaking/speech reading.

Make sense? Feel free to ask more questions.

Speaking as an audiologist, I don’t have any negative feelings toward Deaf culture. I think everyone should be able to choose whatever works best for them in their life.

I am kind of ambivalent on raising children without oral education, because I think they should be exposed to both worlds so they can make an informed decision when they are older. Also, it allows them to switch from one mode of communication to another as needed. Unfortunately, if they are not taught orally when they are young, it is tough to pick up at a later age. CIs are also a hot topic in this area. Again, it is personal preference if you ask me.

Thanks for being patient with us “hearing” people, Jenny :slight_smile: . I always like to hear a range of opinions and experiences, so your input is greatly appreciated here!

I think education is the key to change! I am more than willing to explain my views, opinions, and my world to anyone!

I agree with you Audiogal. The bi-bi approach is great. It enables individuals with a full toolbox for communication and allows Deaf people to access both worlds. When I am speech reading/speaking it is hard to tell that I am deaf. I have very good speech skills and only sometimes (when I am tired or it is a difficult word) can you tell I am deaf from my voice. I was put into total communication when I was younger because I was not speaking when I was 3 but my parents wanted to foster as much verbal communication as possible. I picked up on signing right away and within a few months I was speaking. When I was 6 I was taken out of the Total Communication program and placed in a mainstream class for grade 1. By the time I was 7 I was no longer considered language delayed but I was actually ahead in my spoken language development. I did elementary school with hearing aids/FM alone. There was a bit of signing in my classrooms for basic instructions if it was a very noisy time but other than that nothing. Once middle school hit I refused to wear hearing aids. I did grades 7-11 without hearing aids, only speech reading. In 12th grade (last year) I started using hearing aids again. My hearing has very quickly dropped over the period of the last few months. In March it was severe-profound, and now it is VERY profound (105-120 dB up to 1000Hz, nothing past that) and I am still wearing hearing aids. That being said, I sign most of the time now and I only use my speech reading/oral skills when necessary.

I guess for me the thing is that I don’t need a CI. I am getting on fine without one. I got a 94% average graduating from a mainstream class in highschool, and I was accepted to 4 universities and several colleges as well. I received multiple scholarships and I will be going to University in the fall. I will use interpreters at University and I don’t see any issues relating to communication in the future. I have lived with so little sound for a long time that the thought of being able to hear as much as I possibly could with a CI scares me! I like my silent world, what I get from hearing ais even bothers me a lot of the time. I am very comfortable as a Deaf person and I am able to negotiate the hearing world and the Deaf worlds very well without a CI, so why would I want to get one?

Anyway, that turned into a bit of a rant…sorry!

not really, im glad you serve as a good role model to this community…


Hi Jenny,
From what you said, I was wondering if you needed an interpreter for college, or if you chose to have an interpreter?

I will be using interpreters in Univeristy. By law the Canadian government has to pay for it for me so I can have full access to education. Actually, if I wanted to go to Gallaudet, or NITD the Canadian government would pay for it in full (tuition, housing etc.).

I have been working closley with the access facilitator at the University to find interpreters. She has a list of interpreters that I like to work with and that she should try to get for me, and a list of interpreters that she is never to use for me. There is one interpreter that I really work well with and the goal is to have her interpret for most (if not all) of my classes next year.

However, if I didn’t want to be involved in finding interpreters I wouldn’t have to be. If I was moving to a new town for University and didn’t know any in the area the access facilitator would find them all for me. Though I did move to a new town for University, I moved here a year before I wanted to start so I would have a year to get situated in a new place, find a job, make connections, find interpreters and just get rooted here. I don’t regret that choice at all!

Hope that explains it!