We are living in unprecedented times. At Worcester & Stratford Hearing Centres we have come to the difficult decision to cancel our clinic for all face-to-face consultations from Tuesday 24th March until further notice.

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Team Member

Tom Dixon

29th February 2020

A Comprehensive Hearing Test is Important, Here is Why

Understanding all the facets of your hearing loss help us to provide better solutions and outcomes for you.

We believe that the hearing test is a hugely important part of choosing a solution for someone with hearing loss. It seems obvious, the hearing test forms the basis of everything moving forward. The question though, is how comprehensive should that test be? What test processes should we do and what information will that give us. In the next few paragraphs, I will explain what we do, why we do it and why it matters to you.

Pure Tone Hearing Testing

The basic pure-tone test, the beeps and whistles, the one everyone is familiar with, tells us about your ability to hear a sound. While that is the defined starting point for the prescription of amplification, it doesn't tell us anything about how you hear speech or more importantly speech in noise.

Speech Testing

In a more comprehensive hearing assessment, we always undertake speech testing. Speech testing helps us understand how you process and understand speech. Speech testing in quiet allows us to understand your speech discrimination at different levels of sound. Speech in Noise testing which is called QuickSIN or quick speech in noise testing tells us a lot about how you process and understand speech in noise.

We have always believed that your ability to understand speech in noise is key information when it comes to choosing a hearing solution. That was brought home to us recently again with one of of our customers. 

Typical Hearing Loss

We had a customer in recently who reported the typical problems associated with hearing loss. One to one conversation was okay once the person was within their field of vision. It could get a bit difficult if the person was behind them though. However, once there was any noise present, it became almost impossible to hold a conversation. 

Upon pure-tone testing, we found that he had a not untypical presbyacusis (age-related) hearing loss. While his ability to hear low-frequency sounds were good, he had a moderate hearing loss in the high-frequency area. Taking this information only, it would appear that a relatively decent level of hearing aid technology would do the job quite well.

Real Problems With Noise

The customer particularly liked to eat out with his wife, he also loved to attend a local active retirement group. The active retirement group would often have quite interesting presenters give talks on different topics. He said that he had almost given up on these activities because his ability to hear and understand was almost nil.

Upon undertaking the speech testing and speech in noise testing we discovered that he had a  huge problem with understanding speech in noise and that his speech discrimination was worse than could be expected considering his hearing loss. 

A Better Solution

This latest information changed and formed our thoughts about the solution that would help him re-engage in his life. It also better formed our explanation of the outcomes that he could expect. Let me explain, his speech discrimination score meant that amplification would help him quite a bit. However, it wouldn't completely, 100% increase his ability to hear every sound in every word.

His speech in noise scores meant that he needed more than just hearing aids to hear well in noisy situations. He would also need some sort of assistive device to give him an extra boost of speech intelligibility in order for him to get the best out of these types of situations.

He decided to go with a set of hearing aids with a remote microphone. The remote microphone in question could act as both a simple remote mic, clipped to someone's collar and a desk or table mic. This offered the best versatility and met his needs well.

The Restaurant

When going to restaurants with his wife, she can wear the rather discreet remote microphone around her neck. This allows him to clearly hear her voice directly in his hearing aids, giving him the optimum chance to understand what she says. When he is with a group, he can put the mic on the middle of the table and it helps him to understand the conversation.

The Active Retirement Group

In the active retirement group situations, the remote mic can be used in the same manner. The presenter can wear it clipped to their collar during presentations and during a group conversation, the mic can be placed on the middle of the table.

Why it Matters

These are important areas of his life, they are important for his social activity and therefore his general well being. They allow him to feel active and relevant, something that is important to everyone. The use of his hearing aids combined with the remote mic has successfully allowed him to do the things he loves to do.

He now can hear quite well in many situations, sometimes he still has problems (considering his speech discrimination, that isn't unusual), but generally, he gets on well. He is active and happy, more importantly, he feels engaged.

A Comprehensive Test

We wouldn't have seen the need to provide a complete solution for this customer if we did not truly understand his ability to hear. That is why a comprehensive test involving speech testing is important. It allows both us and you to completely understand your hearing and your needs. That way, we can offer a solution that really works for you.

In finishing, it's always important to have a comprehensive hearing test, it will give complete clarity on your hearing and your needs. If you are looking for a hearing test in Worcester, call us on 01905 617803 and we will book you in. Alternatively, click on the contact us button below.

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