Hearing Test

Discussion in 'Support' started by Alex Senkowski, May 16, 2014.

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    1. Alex Senkowski
      Tolerant

      Alex Senkowski Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      Hi all. I'm stuck in the middle of a frightening conundrum. Yesterday, I got a hearing test done. I have Otosclerosis, so I regularly get my hearing tested to see if it has degenerated any further. I haven't noticed any decrease in my hearing since my test last month, so I thought that yesterday's would go fine. It didn't. The audiogram showed a catastrophic decrease in my right ear which is my most afflicted ear. It's gone from moderately-severe to severe! The thing is that, like I said, I don't percieve any decrease in my right ear. Was the test wrong or was the decrease in my hearing so subtle that I never noticed it? Please advise.
       
    2. tychobrae
      Alone

      tychobrae Member

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2008
      I'm afraid I don't have an answer but I thought my hearing had deteriorated significantly in recent months but my hearing test showed no change from a year ago. I found myself wondering what had happened, too.
       
    3. Alex Senkowski
      Tolerant

      Alex Senkowski Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      I'm just wondering if the test was wrong because my hearing seems the same as it's been for months.
       
    4. Cassidy
      Wishful

      Cassidy Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress Overdrive
      I'm assuming that they checked your ears beforehand and there was no wax or impaction in them?

      Did you perhaps listen to any "louder" noise before the hearing test or were you stressed which could have affected your hearing?
       
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    5. yonkapin

      yonkapin Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Melbourne, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2012
      That's strange. How long between the tests? How much worse was it in terms of actually dBs and at what frequencies, and were they the same frequencies that you showed hearing loss before?

      Either way, maybe wait a couple weeks and then go for another hearing test, possibly at another clinic just to see what happens.

      There are a number of factors that can affect a hearing test: the acoustics of the room you are in, the audiologist taking the test (some are very careless and will rush things resulting in inaccurate results), the method in which they measure your hearing (headphones vs. inserts vs. bone conduction), possible noise exposure before the test is taken, eustachian tube problems like congestion, etc.

      I had one ENT also tell me that variations of 5-10db at any given time is very common and that's part of the reason they don't really consider that range as significant hearing loss. I've had 4 or 5 hearing tests over the past couple of years and they all definitely vary quite a bit. So yeah, don't be too quick to stress IMO!
       
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    6. ashley
      Busy

      ashley Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      4/28/2014
      Yonkapin had a very thorough response. If all of those things remained constant, ie same audiologist in the same test booth, there are two ideas that I have. One-- maybe the calibration of the audiometer or any other equipment was off. I know my bone conduction at certain frequencies in one booth is always off, so while we wait for the calibration specialist we try to always use the other booth. My other theory is maybe just loudness summation? It's hard to really tell that the right ear has decreased in real world situations because you still use both ears. If your left ear isn't as affected, that definitely could have helped add volume overall, making the actual dB decrease less noticeable.

      Just a thought though. :),
       
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      • Agree Agree x 1
    7. Alex Senkowski
      Tolerant

      Alex Senkowski Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      Sorry I took so long to respond. I was actually very stressed during the test. I had the test done on Thursday and 'Godzilla' was coming out the next day, so I was freaked out about the possibility that the test results would leave me in a funk and ruin seeing the movie. I was so nervous that my T rose during the test and I either missed the sounds entirely or I clicked the button when there were no sounds. Another thing that made me nervous was the simple fact that I don't like the audiologist; she's very serious and intimidating. It didn't help that she came in halfway through the test and asked 'And you haven't noticed any change?' The implication in that question was clear and I started freaking out.
       
    8. Alex Senkowski
      Tolerant

      Alex Senkowski Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      My last test was on April 2nd and the test results then weren't drastically different from the test I got in January. I have congenital hearing loss from Otosclerosis; it's mild/moderate in my left ear and moderately-severe in my right ear because of a botched stapedectomy I got in May of last year. I have great difficulty hearing sounds in both the low and the high ends of the spectrum; sorry but I don't know how to explain it in terms of dBs and such. Anyway, it's been over a month since my last test and I haven't percieved any change. But Thursday's test showed a decrease of 10 dBs in my right ear. I was shocked and terrified and the ENT wasn't much help in assuaging my fears. Still, despite what the test showed, my hearing doesn't seem any different since January. I noticed the decreases in my hearing years ago when I was first diagnosed with Otosclerosis, but I haven't noticed any significant change in the last few months.
       
    9. Alex Senkowski
      Tolerant

      Alex Senkowski Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      The audiologist moved to a new location and Thursday's test was the first I had done at the new address. So there is the possibility that the equipment calibrations were off. The only problem with that theory is that the test showed that my hearing in my left ear was unchanged as oppossed to my right ear. However, my T is most prevalent in my right ear and I went into that booth really nervous. When I get nervous, the T turns into a cacaphony of shifting tones that make it hard to concentrate on listening for the beeps. And it didn't help that the audiologist who administered the test makes me nervous as hell. She's one of two audiologists who regularly test me and has a cold, technical and unwelcoming demeanor. The other audiologist is bright and chipper; she's good at keeping me calm and relaxed during tests. As for your theory that the volume of my left ear covering up the decrease in my right ear: I admit that it's possible. But at home I regularly cover up my left ear to see how well I hear different pieces of music through my right ear and that's why I haven't noticed any major change.
       
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