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Hearing Blog

The importance of complete diagnostic hearing evaluation

April 3, 2023

There are hearing screenings which take about 10 -15 minutes…and then there are complete diagnostic hearing evaluations and consultations that take closer to an hour or more.  The diagnostic evaluation reveals all the necessary information to determine the state of your hearing, degree of hearing loss; if any, and the necessary steps to improve it. 

What’s in a score?  We use measurements daily to determine if we are achieving and succeeding at the things we do.  If we are playing Volleyball, we know we need to be the first team to score 15 points to win... Or score 2 more points than the other team if the score is at 15.  With most sports, the team or person who score the most points, or runs, are the winners.  With health matters there are points earned and scores recorded.  It is important to pay attention to those numbers.

With our hearing health, we also have scores that we need to be cognizant of.   One of the most important scores is your Speech Discrimination Score or Speech Understanding Score.  With this test you are given a This score tells us how well you can understand speech.   Without any amplification or hearing aid... just your natural hearing; how well do you understand?  Do you understand 100% of the words?  How many are you missing?   If you do not, then a hearing evaluation will provide information on what needs to be done to help you understand better. 

When correcting a hearing loss, it is vital that we pay attention to how well you understand.  What I mean...  1.  How well do you understand with your own hearing?   2.  How well does your hearing evaluation specify that you should understand if you wear hearing aids?   3.  How well are you understanding your hearing aids?   There are tests that will provide these scores.  All three of these scores are very important in understanding and providing you with appropriate hearing prescriptions for the best speech understanding possible.  

These scores provide us the necessary information to make sure that you...our patient or future patient are getting the most comprehensive care possible to keep your speech discrimination from unknowingly degrading.   For all things in life, for things to get better, they must be measured.   So, in the hearing field we compare how you understand when you come to us...then how much we can improve that understanding score....and then verify that we are delivering on that improvement score. 

Continued care with your Hearing Health Care Provider will allow for the monitoring of such scores.  If your speech understanding score decreases, it is always a sign of concern.  Hearing instruments are designed to correct your speech understanding.  If your hearing has shifted, then re-programming or better/newer technology may be necessary.  If your hearing levels have not changed yet your speech understanding scores have gone down by more than 4% then there is cause for concern.  Further testing should be completed by your hearing healthcare provider.   Research by John Hopkins Medical has proven the link between hearing loss and the onset of dementia.   A hearing loss that is not corrected properly increases the risk and progression of dementia.  Your hearing is so very important for a long healthy happy life.  Protect it and your brain.  To Hear Better Is To Live Better!




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