How Can Hearing Test Ever Be Accurate with Tinnitus?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Lisa88, Mar 6, 2014.

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    1. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Don't understand how an audiogram hearing test with t can ever be accurate. If you are having a bad t day for example, as the test tones get quieter (no matter if their timbre is changed) the t will mask them, and the results could be drastically different from a good t day.
       
    2. Stina
      Psychedelic

      Stina Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Tartu
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/13
      The point of a hearing test is to check if your hearing is ok. Thats all. It doesn't measure ear damage. If tinnitus masks quiet noises, it means you don't hear normally.
       
    3. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Right @Stina. I get that. But what if the tinnitus is constantly changing. Good t day compared to bad t day. Also, when we get t, we want to know if there is hearing loss incurred with t. For example, that will give us info that some damage may have been incurred to have more tests performed. However, what if the hearing loss measured is just from the t sounding off in the booth. Just does not seem accurate to me.
       
    4. Micky
      Dancing

      Micky Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      10 / 2000
      Lisa i agree with you.. I found it impossible to hear that quiet Audiogram tones ..because my bloody tinnitus was so loud and masking out the tones .. Its virtually impossible to have a 100% perfect reading if your tinnitus is super loud.. Micky
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
      • Informative Informative x 1
    5. Stina
      Psychedelic

      Stina Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Tartu
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/13
      i suppose it is very hard for the doctor then to do a hearing test. You can speak to them about it and ask if it is possible to call in when you have a "good day". Anyway, it is probably not possible to do an accurate test is your T sounds like a beep in the test. Since there is no treatment, at this point it doesnt really matter anyway. If you yourself hear normally and dont feel that you have problems then its not impoertant.
      But yeah, i get what you mean. The tests for hearing are not accurate, but some groups of scientist are working on better ways to detect actual nerve damage:)
       
    6. TinnitusGirl
      Balanced

      TinnitusGirl Member

      Location:
      Los Angeles
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2009
      I have often wondered this same thing, Lisa 88. Anytime I get an audiogram now I get stressed about hearing the sounds over my T and notice that I'm actually holding my breath so that I can hear to the best of my ability - crazy, right?!
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    7. JTP
      No Mood

      JTP Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      5/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Shit happens
      I do not understand why it is important to have an accurate audiogram ? Do they force you onto hearing aids or what ;)
       
    8. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      @JTP. An accurate audiogram is very important. When we get t, we wonder if there is any hearing loss incurred along with the t (not because of the t), which would then call for further testing.
       
    9. Dean2014

      Dean2014 Member

      If the hearing loss is noise induced from a work related incident(s), the audiogram chart results is looked at to confirm the cause of the loss of hearing. This is great if I didn't have T. I expereience different pitch sounds from Tinnitus which made it difficult to acknowledge the range of test tones during the audiogram. I guess I could request to take the test again but the results will probably be the same. Now i'm questioning my audiogram results. Lets hope scientific or medical research surfaces regarding the accuracy of the audiogram if you have T.
       
    10. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Dean I just responded on your other thread, which is better and newer than this one. My quote above explains the latest.
       
    11. JohnG

      JohnG Guest

      I agree...audiograms are subjective not objective. I'm pretty sure that as my T goes down...my hearing goes up. A better way maybe is the OAE test? I also am a bit dubious of going into an audiologist who also sells $6000 hearing aids. The goals is to get you into one of these.
       
    12. Hudson
      Cowboy

      Hudson Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2003
      Standard audiograms are a very antiquated measurement of auditory performance in my opinion. Take me for example: the last ENT I saw said that I have hearing "Like a god damn Wombat". Which means that it's really good. But why would I have tinnitus then if it's so damn good? The audiogram is missing a lot. I think it can be a supplemental test, but it is by no means the holy grail of tests that they used to think it was. Better testing methods need to be developed to test for dysfunction within the auditory system.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    13. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      The OAE is a good test for inner and outer hair cell function. Passed that too. Thank goodness.
       
    14. Grace
      No Mood

      Grace Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/14/2013
      Hearing tests are halfass in my opinion depending on how loud your T is... My t is really mild so when i was in the booth almost every sound they played to me was louder then my T so im sure they got a pretty acurate answer on my hearing but if someone were to go in there with loud T there obviously not gonna be able to pick up some of the sounds that are played... T doesnt cause hearingloss.. Other way around so remove the T then they can accurately check everyones hearing but not possible yet.
       
    15. jchinnis

      jchinnis Member

      Location:
      USA: Northern Virginia and Seattle area
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/1989
      There's been research that has shown that tinnitus itself does not appear to influence hearing thresholds. For example, when very distinctive warbling sounds are used instead of constant tones, it makes no difference, though the patient thinks it does.

      There are certainly conditions where hearing thresholds vary with the degree of tinnitus (Meniere's disease is one), but that's not what most people here have.

      Jim
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    16. RaZaH
      Not amused

      RaZaH Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Reykjavík, Iceland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012/04
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Benzo + loud noise
      I think that hearing tests could be improved a lot with sweep tones , its very easy to hear a drop in level when doing a sweep.These drops in levels could be tagged when noticed by the patient and then these areas checked and rechecked with a more standard tone test focusing on the areas where faults are found with this sweep test.

      A way to implement this would be to also do a second or third slower sweep at the fault areas found where the patient would tag where there is a drop in volume,by pushing a button, being able to "rewind" and locate the start of , peak and recovery area of damage. Acurate dB measuments of these faults could then be determined with the more traditional methods of playing a tone in 10 db intervals and then 5db in 1/8 of an octave or a resolution that will be deemed to suffice for such a higher resolution measurement,with this method there would be more high res measurements of the actual areas of interest as well as the added possibility of finding faults inbetween the standard one octave resolution.

      This might also bypass the huge areas where no testing is conducted, like between 4khz to 6 khz or even 6khz to 8 khz.
      Also a sweep test would determine the upper cutoff of hearing where in a lot of cases natural damage begins, but sometimes its an indicator of premature hearing loss. Although it is hard to get a fixed dB number for these hi freq it would give early indications of hearing loss ,something to cross reference and see if this hi freq loss is common in T patients, quite possibly in the ones suffering from hi frq T. In the cases where age is not determined as the cause of upper freq loss (above 8k or even at 10-17khz) this might reveal the start of hearing loss or even holes in freq response, possibly causing T. Again its very easy to do a sweep above 8-10 khz and locate dips.

      Another benefit of sweeptesting is that it will circumvent the masking caused by the T itself completely.

      Also a lot of us have very hi freq T which would indicate hi freq hearing loss but in most cases that is not even measured.
      Current hearing test do not suffice in my opinion and I cringe evertime I hear people referring to the "T but no hearing loss" theory which is in fact based on these crude measurements. How can anyone can get a certification of hearing like a "wombat" from his ENT with the current measurements is beyond my comprehension.

      And yes , I am aware of the critical band, but my own sweep tests followed by traditional testing although at 24 bands have concluded that current testing is misleading at best and damaging to further research at worst.

      I feel that normal testing is fine as a checkup until you have serious problems with your hearing.
      This is where sweep testing should be implemented and 1/8 or 1/4 octave resolution .
      You should be able to walk out of such an measurement with a detailed and accurate representation of you hearing response, for your benefit and for the benfit of gathering accurate data.

      Another pet peeve of mine regarding hearing tests is that most people are not told how they are performed , hence they wait for a particular frequency and in anticipation for that freq , kind of miss the first few dbs of the oncoming freq.
      Maybe the kind of blow it and start waiting for the same freq again but the tester has moved on to the next freq ..etc.
      People start to get stressed, start to hold their breath...wait..let out their breath at the wrong time masking the onset of the freq etc , its a mess !

      People should be told that most of them raise a particular freq in 10 db steps, when you indicate that you heard that freq it is lowered again and raised in 5 dB step. So, each freq is played two times! You should now know what frequency to expect and be more attuned to hearing it when played again to get a more accurate result.

      Maybe some people are told how this works...I have never been told! This can easily skew your audiogram, which might not be a big deal (except for skewing the data) , until you have had a few of them, start to undertstand them better and start to get better results and again skewing the data.

      Again , I feel very strongly that current tests are ancient technology and the equivalent to going to have you eyes checked and being presented with one large A and a smaller b.

      "There you go, your new glasses , have a nice day and watch out for the bus"
       

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