Word recognition and HAs

Hi, I could use some help from HA users who have a speech discrimination problem. I had a test two years ago and was told that HAs would not me much because I have low speech discrimination. Then the audi turned right around and said I might want to give them a try since some of her patients like theirs. I didn’t like the contradictionary advice so didn’t pursue any further. But my problem is getting worse and I’m getting desparate. I definitely need the clarity more than the volume. Too much loudness just makes matters worse. I would really appreciate hearing from anyone with the speech disc. who has HAs. Do they help enough justify the cost and hassle?
Here are the results of my test of two years ago. It isn’t comprehensive but it’s all I have:
Speech discrimination
R 64% @ 40 db
L 68% @ 35db
Here is a speech rec. threshold reading: (whatever that is)
R 35
L 40

IMPO, it’s always worth a try. The scores you have are monaural meaning the words were presented to one ear at a time, the traditional way of testing. Often when I have patients that have low monaural word recognition, i’ll do a list in both ears at the same time (the way the brain was meant to process sound) and there will be an improvement, sometimes 20-40% even.

Here’s my thing about ENT’s. They are wonderful physicians and surgeons, but generally know very little about hearing aids. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had patients come in and say “the doctor told me hearing aids won’t help me” and they have completely aidable hearing and are excellent HA candidates. I don’t presume to tell patients if they are surgery candidates or not, Physicians’ shouldn’t tell patients they aren’t HA candidates unless their audiologist told them they weren’t.

I’m going to assume that the 35/40dB levels next to the percentages was the amount of increase above the SRT that they read the words to you at. 64-68% really isn’t that bad. I would expect that you would notice a significant benefit with amplification…definitely better than nothing. Now, there will always be people you won’t hear clearly, and you’ll miss more speech sounds than someone with the same hearing loss and word recongition of 80-90%, but you are stil an excellent candidate, from my perspective anyway.

Same here. I keep getting people in telling me that their doctors told them they have “nerve deafness” and that hearing aids will not help them.

[quote=DocAudio;72015]IMPO, it’s always worth a try. The scores you have are monaural meaning the words were presented to one ear at a time, the traditional way of testing. Often when I have patients that have low monaural word recognition, i’ll do a list in both ears at the same time (the way the brain was meant to process sound) and there will be an improvement, sometimes 20-40% even.

Here’s my thing about ENT’s. They are wonderful physicians and surgeons, but generally know very little about hearing aids. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had patients come in and say “the doctor told me hearing aids won’t help me” and they have completely aidable hearing and are excellent HA candidates. I don’t presume to tell patients if they are surgery candidates or not, Physicians’ shouldn’t tell patients they aren’t HA candidates unless their audiologist told them they weren’t.

I’m going to assume that the 35/40dB levels next to the percentages was the amount of increase above the SRT that they read the words to you at. 64-68% really isn’t that bad. I would expect that you would notice a significant benefit with amplification…definitely better than nothing. Now, there will always be people you won’t hear clearly, and you’ll miss more speech sounds than someone with the same hearing loss and word recongition of 80-90%, but you are stil an excellent candidate, from my perspective anyway.[/quote]

Thanks so much for those encouraging thoughts. I am really at a disadvantage. I can’t carry on an intellligent conversation, enjoy TV and church services are the worst. Do you think I will have trouble getting someone to sell me HAs?

I have to say, this is a pet peeve of mine. Many hearing professionals think they are giving honest advice by saying that hearing aids may be less effective in cases of poor discrim, but I say that is utter nonsense.

In the last two months alone I have seen this first hand. One patient had been told her right ear was unaidable by an audiologist ten years ago. So I fitted her with test aids (which I think is the MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THE TEST!) and she loved it. Her and her husband cried as if I just performed a miracle.

Fact is, discrim is NOT a reliable indicator for the success of hearing aids, despite what some misguided professionals would have you believe. It is ALWAYS worth a test with hearing aids to see what can be achieved.

A few weeks ago I had a patient who had again been told that one ear was unaidable, after some medical issues. She scored ZERO in her discrim test. Guess what, with a hearing aid system she said it sounded amazing like ‘surround sound.’ She’s completely happy with her set up.

Frankly I don’t care what some stupid test says. I don’t care if an ENT specialist thinks aids won’t work. I will take every single patient I see who has a hearing loss, and let them listen to real hearing aids programmed for their loss. If they derive benefit and like the sound, who am I to tell them that some stupid test says they are not allowed to try.

So go see a hearing professional who actually wants to help you, and not hide behind scores. Have them put real aids in your ears and see what you think. Then arrange for a 45-60 day trial and get some great hearing aids. Discover for yourself how they improve the quality of your life. And if they don’t return them and try something else. If you have three extended trials and can’t improve your situation, then you might have to give up. But prior to that, never give up.

Good luck!

can i get an amen!!!

Wow! Thanks for the enthusiasm! My hearing loss is pretty strange and recently had a big decrease in word recognition scores but stable PTA. This has been going on for 20 years but I still keep buying and keep trying hearing aids. I keep thinking with trial and error I will find that elusive “sweet spot.” What usually happens is that I purchase the hearing aids and go back three or four times for adjustment. The audi’s take the hearing aids and put them in a box and do some sort of test and come back to me and show me the graphs which basically say that they are programmed correctly. So, sorry!! I know I’m hard to fit…really hard, but I would be willing to pay separate for someone to have a plan for me…Such a plan would outline all of the scenarios we could try. It my take several years to go through all the scenarios but I am ready to pay. But, at what point do you give up?:confused:

Thanks so much, DocAudio. I’ll give you that AMEN. I am beginning to think I can do this!!