Would HA work for someone with very bad word recogination score?

Hi All

I had unilateral sudden hearing loss a few months ago. Since then I have recovered some hearings to the point that I believed a HA could help me to get back to my normal life. I went to see an audiologist and did a few testings. My pure tone test result shows between 50 db and 65 db. However, I did horrible in my WR test. I could barely recognize 5 out of 50 words. My audi said it’s quite common for people who lost their hearing through SSHL and a HA might not help my hearing that much, but it could help my tinnitus. I was extremely upset because I really hoped that HA could make a big difference. I don’t know if my WR would improve as I still feel a bit improvement of my hearing, just very slowly. Could anyone give me some advice whether I should even give it a try? Thank you very much!


With 50-65db HL you should definitely profit from HAs


we don´t know the cause for your sudden hearing loss (sorry to hear about it). I have no idea if a hearing aid might cause stress for your hearing if it adds another, say, 25db or 30 dB. What does your doctor say about this?

But: My loss is 40 to 60 dB at the higher frequencies, and my hearing aids certainly make a BIG difference! I am very happy with my hearing right now, so I do encourage you to try aids, you should not give up hope to get back to your normal life!

The word recognition score is determined after identifying the SRT score. I am not an expert, but I have had several audiograms and other tests in the past few months. The levels for the word recognition test varied among the audis. My WRS scores also varied depending upon the testing level. Here is a link to a discussion of WRS and some of the variables in getting a valid test: http://www.audiologyonline.com/articles/word-recognition-testing-puzzling-disconnect-11978

Hearing aids do not restore normal hearing, so you will need to have a realistic expectation. Tinnitus is very annoying and is frequently helped with a hearing aid. My tinnitus goes away while I am wearing a hearing aid. I do not have my aids in at the moment and my right ear is ringing like crazy.

It seems like you may have an improvement in tinnitus if you try a hearing aid. You would also be able to determine for yourself if the hearing aids improve your life. HAs have definitely improved my ability to hear what people are saying. More importantly, I am hearing noises, alerts, squeaks, etc. that I have not heard in years. It may not seem important to hear environmental sounds, but at least for me, it is one of the big surprises when wearing hearing aids. I used to sit smiling at people while my cell phone was beeping away. No clue that it wanted attention. Now it is rather jarringly loud (not used to hearing high frequencies).

Whatever your decision, good luck. Hearing loss is devastating in many cases. Fortunately, mine was over years and I didn’t realize that I had a problem until my wife told me to get a hearing test. Sudden hearing loss is very difficult to deal with.

assuming you have been to an ENT and you live in the U.S. and are within a couple of hours to a Costco it wont cost you to find out.

Well, almost two years ago I had a similar occurrence. If you click on my line below, mine trumps yours in all ways – not a point of pride or oneupsmanship. The audiologists debated even giving me an aid for my right ear. The thing is you need to chart your own course. I don’t know what the education of an audiologist entails. Probably can say the same for ENTs. But, it has come to seem other worldly.

Much of the problem I see across the medical profession is specialization. Specialization is another term for buck passing. So, you need to take things into your own hands. If you don’t, seeking help is more like playing round robin.


  • got decent hearing aids
  • listen to a lot of news radio
  • listen to a lot of TV

You need to retrain your brain to work with what is available. It won’t be like it was of old but you can develop your recognition to an acceptable level. You’ll miss some words but will get context and have understanding more often than not. On the hopefully growing less frequent occasions ask people to repeat.

What we have left is what we have left. It is up to us to make it the most it can be.

Thank you all for your inputs!!! I will definitely give HA a try and update my result here. I have been in busy restaurants quite often recently. It’s killing me! I hope with the help of HA, I can at least enjoy dining again. :slight_smile:

how much can you spend? what kind of work do you do?

The OP never said he had taken any drugs, just that he had a sudden hearing loss. It’s true that some drugs can cause a sudden hearing loss but there are many causes of sudden hearing loss that aren’t drug related.

i didnt get the drug referance either… but it does seem like another troll post the more he keeps ignoring everyone. maybe the guy with the steroid adiction came to.i

if you’ve lost your hearing recently then your hearing may not stabilize for a while. so you got to at least get a test done annually until it stays the same. otherwise you will be damaging whatever hearing you have left with a hearing aid.
Is this true? Using hearing aid will damage my remaining hearing if it’s not completely stabilized yet? Mine may still be improving a little bit. BTW, let me clarify my sudden hearing loss was not due to drug usage, it was more like out of blue instead.

I think it unlikely but an actual audiologist might comment. If your hearing aids seem to change how they are working, you should notice that and then consult your audiologist for further testing.

Ok, I could have worded my post in a more politically correct way. Maybe use the word medication instead of drugs, which has a negative connotation. Nearly all sudden loss people who have posted here eventually admitted some kind of medication being a factor in their loss. Has anybody looked at the list I’ve posted? here are some of the more interesting entries:

-aspirin (temporary loss that goes away once stopped)
-ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin, etc.)

lots of antibiotics are on the list including the following which is used in neosporin

so nobody honestly used any of the above? I don’t think one time usage of neosporin or ibuprofen will cause permanent damage. but I know people who take ibuprofen daily. I also know many who take aspirin daily. there’s this notion that these drugs since they are over the counter, they must be harmless which is obviously not the case.

Most doctors I’ve talked to do not know about the ototoxicity of the medications they prescribe. I was prescribed a number of these antibiotics on the list as a child and this is part of the reason why I am deaf in my right ear.

As for hearing aids causing further damage to your hearing. any thing that amplifies sound has the potential to kill your cochlea hair cells if the volume or gain is too high. I believe the general rule of thumb is anything above 85 decibels will hurt your hearing. however, at above 85 dB the sound has to last for several hours to cause permanent damage. a power drill and law mower will generate 100 dB which can be tolerated for I believe 2 hours. as the decibels rises the less time it takes to cause permanent damage to your ears.

if your hearing suddenly improves then the hearing aid can potentially provide too much gain. it would feel like you were at a concert where the music was too loud and you get a ringing in your ear.

The problem here is that typically new hearing aid users feel discomfort from having sounds amplified at problematic frequencies. Does not mean that their cochlea hair cells are getting killed off. It’s just discomfort and typically the user will be told that with time they will get used to it. However, if your hearing suddenly improves, then that discomfort can very well be from that fact that the aid is amplifying the sound way too much.

You can go to a site like the following and record the volume level at which you’ve done the test so you can repeat it again. If you have a sudden change in your hearing you can check for yourself. Although this test is crude it will probably be good enough to check for large changes in your hearing. If that occurs you can go back to your audi and aske for a retest.

don’t go crazy over this. if your hearing suddenly improves you will only have a problem with loud sounds considering your loss is around 50 dB you have 35 dB before the sound will start getting too loud. but like I’ve wrote that sound has to be sustain for several hours to cause permenant damage.

btw you will be hard pressed to find anybody in the industry willing admit that hearing aids can hurt your hearing. that will open up liability issues.

So how did you loose your hearing?

I myself was born with a hearing loss. Actually had some hearing in my right ear. But chronic ear infections and ototoxic medications made me deaf in my right ear and reduced my hearing in my left ear.

Im willing to bet that everyone (at least in the u.s.) that has a hearing lost has used TP so of course TP causes hearing loss.