My Intro to Communication Disorders and Sciences class required us to get a hearing screening. Mostly to give the audiology students live bodies to work on. Well, I failed the screening. Surprisingly, my right (bad) ear passed and my left ear failed. That was weird. They referred me to the campus clinic and today I had that appointment.
This was the most thorough testing I had ever had done. First, I failed the tympanogram in my right ear. It wasn't even on the chart. That shows a negative pressure issue, eusctachian tube related. Then we did the traditional hearing testing, including speech recognition and bone conduction testing.
Hearing loss is catagorized in three ways.The headphones portion of the test checks your conductive hearing and can show a loss in the function of parts of the outer or middle ear. The bone conduction tests the function of the inner ear because it bypasses the outer and middle sending vibrations via the skull. Loss here is called senorineural. If you show loss in both mechanisms it is called mixed hearing loss.
At the end of the testing, the results show that I have mild mixed hearing loss. This means it is time to get a hearing aid, at least in my left ear. I had told her that I was going into speech language pathology and while she did not discourage me, she did say that I will need an aid in order to work effectively in the field. She also said that my loss would get greater over time, but probably slowly.
A mild hearing loss may cause you to miss 25-40% of the speech signal. Usually this results in problems with clarity since the brain is receiving some sounds but not all of the information. Symptoms of mild hearing loss include problems understanding someone farther away than a normal distance for conversation, or even up close if the background environment is noisy. Weak voices are also difficult to understand for people with mild hearing losses.
I am thinking I need a flower print one, no?