I have been reading through a few audiology texts to try to improve my understanding of my hearing and hearing aids. What has really struck me is how much weight is given to the detection of “fakers” and “malingerers” in each text. Yes, I understand that audiologists involved with testing that may be involved with compensation claims have to have some understanding of that element of things, but there is just so much stuff in there.
They also talk about faking among school age children. Most alarmingly they talk about the reason for faking among children most commonly being need for psychological help and then advise that you make sure to nip any “fuss” in the bud by turfing them out of screening telling them they are fine.
The texts read as if every second person through the door is, for some reason, going to be faking a hearing test.
Most worrying of all, however, is that I do quite a number of these “signs of faking” and for perfectly valid reasons. Apparently you are faking if you press the button one time a sound at a particular level is played and then you miss it when it’s mixed in with ones at other levels. Well sometimes I don’t press the button because I am actually not sure if I hear something. I might, I might not. Since I have been in trouble as a child for continuing to press the button when the audiologist had actually stopped testing to deal with a problem I know they get equally upset if you press when you don’t hear anything. So I don’t press if I may or may not have heard it. Equally, I can create noises in my ears if I am expecting them hard enough, and I press for those. Or my hand gets carried away and presses the button anyway because I am nervous! When you know how a hearing test goes already you can anticipate what the next noise will sound like and wait for it with your brain, so you see the audio’s hand move towards the equipment and you push the button!
All that tuning fork stuff - I have no idea what I hear, they ask me if it seems louder here or there, I have no clue, it all sounds like not a lot to me. Can I hear it left or right, up or down, I don’t know, it just goes “bong”. I can’t localise sounds, I have never been able to localise sounds. to this day I can think a noise of water running from the (upstairs back) bathroom is someone breaking a window in the front door!
Maybe why this is why it took so long for me to be treated at school, why I had so many years of being sent away for months to see if the problem resolved on its own.
Do you guys seriously spend your days on the eager lookout for hearing test fakers? The way the text books read it could turn a reasonable person into a suspicious one very easily.