What does my QuickSIN score mean?

Hi can someone please explain the quick sin test to me.

I have a mild high sensory neural frequency hearing loss caused by ageing but had a quick sin score of 9.

What does this mean? Apparently it’s the quick sin shows I have some difficulty hearing in noise. But I don’t understand as my hearing test shows my hearing is mild.

Could someone help explain it to me please. The more detail the better.

Thanks :slightly_smiling_face:

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The short answer is that as folks age, they not only tend to lose the ability to just plain hear sounds, usually more loss at higher frequencies, less at lower, but they also lose the secondary ability to process the sounds they hear in their brain and separate speech from noise or the speech that they want to hear from other voices in the background. So just because you haven’t lost that much hearing doesn’t mean that your ability to interpret the sounds you do hear won’t also be reduced a bit. In the worst possible case, the ability to recognize speech in noise can get so bad that hearing aids won’t do a person any (much) good because even when hearing sounds is “restored,” the person can’t interpret the sounds that they hear adequately.

Another way of thinking about it:
80% of the “power” of speech is in the low-frequencies. It is easy to “hear” that people are speaking, especially vowel sounds like “a”, “e”, “i”, “o” or “u” which originate in the chest and throat.

However, 80% of the “understanding” in speech is in the consonants which occur predominantly in the high-frequencies and are produced by the lips and tongue. A good example here are the words “night”, “knife” and “nice”. It may be easy to hear the “ni” sound but more difficult to understand what is being said, especially in a noisy environment (which further masks out the consonant beginnings and endings of words).

Even with a mild loss, the fact that yours is concentrated more in the high-frequencies (very common as we age) means that you might struggle for understanding, especially in the presence of background noise. The QuickSin is designed specifically to test this out and also as a way of demonstrating the difference between hearing without hearing aids and the benefit they do provide when worn by the patient.

Hope this is helpful.

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Thank you for your helpful reply.

I didn’t realise the quick sin test is a measure of how the brain interprets sound. I thought it was all in the ears - so thank you for that.

I’m trying to read more about this as I find it interesting. Have you come across any good websites/ reading material which explains this in more detail? I’ve tried looking but have been unsuccessful. I’ve just found information on how to do the test not about the brain side of thing.


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Here’s a quote from an Audiology Online course on Speech-in-Noise testing: https://www.audiologyonline.com/articles/using-speech-in-noise-tests-832

Hearing loss can be generally categorized into two types: loss of audibility and loss of clarity. We know from basic hearing science that the loss of audibility, or volume, can be attributed to damage of the outer hair cells. We also know that there is a fairly predictable relationship between the thresholds and the amount of gain a patient needs to restore audibility. Loss of clarity, on the other hand, is attributed to damage of the inner hair cells or central auditory nervous system. We also know that, for the most part, there is a pretty unpredictable relationship between the audiometric thresholds and that loss of clarity. Loss of clarity is distortion-based and is not remedied by additional gain or volume. It can, however, be quantified with SIN testing that directly measures something called signal to noise ratio loss (SNR loss).

(emphasis mine)

Dr. Cliff has a good video on the importance and implications of speech-in-noise testing but it doesn’t discuss auditory apparatus vs. CNS involvement:

One can learn a lot, both at Audiology Online (can sign up and audit courses even though intended for hearing care professionals) and at Dr. Cliff’s YouTube channel. If you subscribe to Dr. Cliff, as I do, you’ll be notified by e-mail every time he creates a fresh video.