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The audiogram above shows my hearing as of November 2013. The hearing test was done at the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford during my fitting for a pair of NHS hearing aids (Oticon Spirit II BTEs).
You can see from the audiogram that my hearing is in the moderately-severe to severe range – just touching on a profound loss in the higher frequencies. I have a progressive hearing loss, so my hearing hasn’t always been this bad but it has always been the same ‘shape’ – when I first got my hearing tested, aged 5, it looked more like this:
How much can I hear?
Short answer: almost nothing. Without my hearing aids I cannot hear much at all, I don’t hear any speech or music, I cannot hear the phone or the TV. Even if someone puts their mouth right to my ear I cannot hear what they say, if they try and shout it is just painful, but still no understanding. I can just about pick up a slamming door or a dog bark that is close by.
What about with hearing aids?
I wear a pair of Starkey S Series ITEs at the moment. With them in I can hold a conversation with someone one-to-one usually without too much hassle (even though I do have to concentrate all the time and it is hard work) – it’s much easier when the room is smaller and acoustics are good. I cannot hear well if someone is calling across a room or shouting from distance. Group conversations are really difficult, it’s tough to keep up with who is saying what.
Given that I have a progressive loss I don’t know how much longer I’m going to be able to use a hearing aid for – I don’t have far to go before my loss becomes profound across the range and a hearing aid won’t be much good to me by then. When that happens it’ll be time to seriously think about a cochlear implant or talking the family into learning BSL.