Personal Hearing Report

This web page is designed to work alongside your Personal Hearing Report which you should have received after your hearing test. Click on the sections that are checked on your report, and you will be able to find more information regarding what each category means, and how it impacts your overall hearing.

1. Your Ability to Hear Sounds

We start by testing your ability to hear speech sounds by having you listen to different pitch beeps, from the very low bass sounds to the very high treble sounds. By increasing and decreasing the volume for each pitch, we can identify the softest level of each sound that you are able to hear.

This result indicates that you are able to hear all of the different speech sounds within the normal hearing range.

Very soft speech sounds and many environmental sounds such as clocks ticking, fans running, and birds singing will be dull or muffled. Often it is harder to hear individuals who are very soft spoken or those who are talking from a distance.

Many everyday sounds are now softer than this, especially if they are a distance away. Soft spoken individuals become very difficult to hear and high pitch female and children’s voices tend to be a challenge.

At this level of hearing loss, a great deal of every day sounds are no longer detectable without hearing aids. This includes pet sounds, to vacuum cleaners, to many kitchen appliances, and can even include phones ringing or alarm indicators. At this level of hearing loss, most speech sounds at a normal level are no longer audible. People will need to speak much louder than normal before they can be heard.

At this level, all but the loudest of sounds are too soft to be heard without hearing aids. Spoken conversations without amplification will be extremely challenging, even if the otters person is raising their voice a considerable amount.

2. Clarity of Speech

We test your clarity by having you repeat back short words in quiet. The words are played at a loud enough level that you are able to hear all or most of the speech sounds. Since there is no context, this gives us a good idea of how clearly your hearing system is able to correctly identify each sound.

This means that you were able to repeat back all or nearly all of the words presented in quiet.

There is a little bit of distortion in the clarity of sound through the hearing system. Certain sounds will be confused at this level, and words such as “bells” might have the s missed, leaving “bell” or the b switched with a t giving “tells”.

As the clarity decreases, more replacements of sounds is likely to happen. Some of the words repeated bear little relevance to those that were played.

With severely diminished clarity, whole words are missed rather than just some of the sounds. This level of clarity often requires contextual and visual cues to maintain a conversation.

At this point, there is a great deal of distortion in the sound that the brain is receiving. Additional systems should be discussed at this point, whether it is looking at a CROS system if only one ear is at this level, or a discussion about Cochlear Implants if both ears are in this range.

3. Hearing in Groups/Noise

We determine how much difficulty you can expect to experience in background and group settings by having you repeat back sentences. As each sentence passes, the background noise is increased. In most cases, this carries on until you are no longer able to repeat back any of the words in the sentence.

Your ability to understand speech in noise is within the range for those with normal hearing. This doesn’t mean that you won’t have any difficulty in noisy environments. It simply means that your hearing system remains quite capable of separating the speech from the back ground noise.

With a mild impairment in background noise, you will likely find restaurants, coffee shops, and family gatherings more challenging than you used to. At this level, a modern set of hearing aids should be able to make a large difference, and have you participating in these environments at a level very close to those with normal hearing.

With a moderate impairment in background noise, hearing at parties, family gatherings and coffee shops can be quite a challenge. Hearing aids can help significantly, but with the amount of damage to the clarity of your hearing system, you will likely still have more difficulty than those with normal hearing. If you spend a lot of time in these environments, or it is very important for you to distinctly hear in these settings, it might be worth trying a remote microphone or an FM system.

For those with a severe impairment in background noise, hearing aids alone are not going to be able to allow you to function at a normal level in groups, noisy restaurants and coffee shops. The use of an FM system in conjunction with your hearing aids will make a large improvement in these environments. 

For those with a profound impairment in background noise, hearing aids alone are not going to be able to allow you to function at a normal level in groups, noisy restaurants and coffee shops. At the profound level, understanding speech even in small groups and meetings can be quite a challenge. The use of an FM system in conjunction with your hearing aids will make a large improvement in these environments. 

4. Additional Information

There are three different types of hearing loss. 

Sensorineural:
This is the most common type of hearing loss. It is caused by damage to the hair cells and nerves in the inner ear. Loss of clarity and hearing in noise are typically associated with sensorineural hearing loss.

Conductive:
This refers to a hearing loss which is the result of an reduction in the transmission of sounds through the ear drum and bones in the middle ear. Despite the presence of a hearing loss, clarity and hearing in noise typically remain very good.

Mixed:
This is a combination of a sensorineural hearing loss and a conductive hearing loss.

More information about the different types of hearing loss can be found on our hearing page.

Hearing loss does not affect all sounds equally. In most cases the hearing for certain sounds is better than that for others.

Treble sounds:
This is the most common pattern for those with sensorineural hearing loss. Noise exposure and normal wear and tear tend to reduce our ability to hear treble sounds more than mid pitch or bass sounds. What does this mean? For this group, high pitch female and children voices tend to be a lot harder to distinguish than deeper male voices. Consonant sounds are also harder to hear than vowel sounds for this pattern.

Mid pitch sounds:
This is the least common, but some individuals have more difficulty hearing mid pitch sounds. Despite being able to hear environmental sounds quite well, this pattern of hearing loss greatly reduces the ability to hear the majority of the key speech sounds.

Bass sounds:
More common for conductive hearing losses, though some sensorineural hearing losses can also be worse for bass sounds, vowels tend to be the hardest to hear and identify. In these cases, deep male voices are harder to hear than higher pitch female and children’s voices.

We will examine your ear canal to verify that the skin is healthy and the ear drum is intact. We will let you know if there is damage to the ear drum, if there is any wax blockage, or are any other notable issues.

One of the tests that we run examines how the ear drum is moving, the pressure in the middle ear space, and the function of the three middle ear bones. This helps us to determine if the hearing loss is conductive or sensorineural.

5. Problematic Speech Sounds

Different speech sounds have different pitch and volume levels. The following chart shows where the different sounds appear on the audiogram graph for your hearing. Any of the letters which are checked off on your report will fall bellow the levels that you are able to hear for an average conversation level. This does not mean that you wouldn’t ever hear those sounds. In many cases, if someone is very close, or projecting their voice above an average level you will indeed be able to hear those letters. But with other voices, or if people aren’t raising their voices, you might miss them.

6. Environmental Sounds

For those with a high pitch hearing loss, children’s voices tend to be more challenging to hear.

For those with high pitch hearing loss, high pitch female voices tend to be much more challenging than deeper male voices.

Many song birds sing up in the same range as the “s”, “sh”and “th” speech sounds. Therefore if you are not hearing birds as loudly and clearly as you used to, it also means that you aren’t hearing some critical speech sounds as well either. 

A ticking clock tends to be at a soft conversation level. For those who start to miss these types of sounds, it indicates that much of their ability to detect sounds has diminished beyond a mild level.

Car turn indicators are a good example of a sound that many people notice again when they get hearing aids. These sounds are usually at a soft conversation level. If they become inaudible, it usually means that more half of the speech sounds are now below the level that you can hear.

If you are no longer able to hear phones ring, smoke detectors or doorbells, it is a strong indicator that your hearing for the high pitch sounds is at a severe or profound level. If these sounds are no longer audible, it would be a good idea to look into alerting systems to improve your safety.

7. Recommendations

Based on the pattern of hearing loss, you would benefit from using a hearing aid on your right side.

Based on the pattern of hearing loss, you would benefit from using a hearing aid on your left side.

Due to one of your ears having very poor ability to hear sounds and/or very poor clarity, a CROS system is advised. How a CROS system works is by placing a microphone (looks like a hearing aid) on the poor side and wirelessly transmitting the signal over to a hearing aid on the side that you hear better from.

FM systems are the best way to hear better in background noise. By using a remote microphone, you can control what direction you are hearing sounds from very easily, or ask a specific person to wear the microphone so that their voice is much more distinct than any other sound.

These TV listening systems allow you to transmit the television audio directly to your ears. This provides you with a clearer television signal at the volume that you need. The TV volume can either be muted or other viewers can adjust the television volume to a level that they are comfortable with without changing the sound that you hear.

These amplified phones help provide a louder and clearer signal. These can be a big help understanding phone conversations.