There are 2 tests that your audi or hearing aid dispenser must use.
If I were a hearing aid user, I would insist they use at least one of the two tests to determine how well you are hearing with hearing aids on in noise.
Here’s a little background.
The HINT Test, developed in part or in full by the House Ear Clinic is one of the premier tests to determine how well patients are able to hear and understand in noisy environments. With hearing aids today, pretty much any hearing aid can help patients understand in quiet environments, such as in an audi’s office. Yet, the minute they walk outside or go to a restaurant, they cannot hear and understand anymore.
This is where the HINT and Quick SIN come in. Even in a quiet audi’s office, they can use an audio setup to simulate backround noise and measure exacltly what signal to noise ratio you are able to get with your hearing aids in the ear.
With normal hearing, we can typically hear and understand at around negative 4-6 db, basically the voice being 4-6 db softer than the noise. With hearing impaired individuals with analog hearing aids, the voice would have to be at least 2db or more louder than the noise, or a positive SNR (signal to noise ratio).
With today’s directional and digital hearing aids, we are sometimes able to get back down into the -2 sometimes -4 db SNR.
Now if your audi with your hearing aids can prove that your hearing in noise with either the HINT or Quick SIN is around -2 or even 0 db SNR, then you have a great set of hearing aids.
If the results are +4db or more, basicallly the voice has to be louder than the noise, then you may not be getting optimal results.
Sonic Innovations is one of the companies that love this test, because their hearing aids typically do very well on this test and in the real world. Yet, there are other manufacturers that can do well also. But the main factor is the skill of your professional. They can have access to the best hearing aids, yet not have good results because they are not goot at merging all of the information.
That said, this is how this test is supposed to be used (and if I were a prospective hearing aid buyer, I would quiz your professional to ensure they know this):
But if he/she can lower the voice down to, let’s say 61 db, then that creates a -4 db SNR which is awesome.
Thus, the more negative the SNR number, the better. You should demand 0 db SNR or better if you have speech discrimination scores of 75% or better.
Now if your speech discrimination scores are less than 75%, then we cannot expect negative snr scores.
If you have any questions on this, feel free to post and myself or Admin or a couple of the other professionals can answer your questions.
The more information about your hearing loss you can give you, the more specific we can be.