Hello: I have had the same problem for over 20 years. I’ve spent over $60,000 on hearing aids, buying the newest technology every one to two years. I was never able to identify one time that I was hearing speech better. Finally, after much research, I found a group of parents discussing their babies diagnosis of Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder (ANSD), that was found from their newborn hearing tests. The most striking feature of this is that the tonal hearing can range from normal to severe, but word recognition or the ability to understand speech is severely affected. I immediately recognized the symptoms and proceeded to ask numerous audiologists if I could possible have ANSD. All of their responses were “no, you had to be born with it.” Undeterred, I went to a clinic at the University of North Carolina and sure enough, I was diagnosed with ANSD. My word recognition scores were at a terrible 10% in quiet and 0% in noise. I was shocked that I was relying totally on lip reading. ANSD is confirmed with an Auditory Brainstem Test and also testing of your acoustic reflexes. I had no response in either test. Despite the fact that I had moderate to mild tonal hearing loss, I was declared a candidate for a cochlear implant. Hearing aids do not help in ANSD and can make matters worse. No wonder I always yanked them out. Two weeks ago I underwent surgery to get a cochlear implant. An added bonus is that my surgeon is recognized in the field of retaining residual hearing during cochlear implant surgery. I am hearing out of my implanted ear so he was successful. I am scheduled for activation of my implant next wednesday! Please check out ANSD through the closest University affiliated Otolynragy Clinic and asked to be tested for ANSD. Sometimes audiologists do an acoustic reflex test as part of your audi workup. If you have a copy of your audiogram check and see if they are there. Also, do not go to an audiologist for this, they aren’t up to speed on this diagnosis. It’s a recent discovery that came as a result of the mandatory newborn screening testing. Good Luck!!