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I admit I was looking for the "April Fools" statement at the end, given your past avoidance of digital aids. :D

My usual disclaimer: I'm not a certified audiologist, everything I write is personal not professional opinion and recollection, blah, blah.

Great diary (more nostalgia!)! Congratulations on finding a digital aid that may work for you. Please continue to tell us what it's like and how it's different from the analogue aids you've used. Digital technology was still fairly new when I was in school, so this is a perspective I never got to study.

I did some speech discrimination tests - watched a video of a man speaking a number of sentences; without sound, with sound and sound only.  I always perform amazingly well on these tests.  My brain is one hell of a processor.  These are all random, out of context sentences and yet somehow I can take all these little bits and put them together and work out what is being said 80% of the time.  My audiologist has never come across anyone with such poor hearing who can get any, let alone most of the sentences.

Were you being tested for lip-reading ability plus hearing (total audiovisual comprehension as opposed to what just your ears could pick up)? Every test we ever did called for turning the person around so they couldn't see our lips, so we could get as true a measure of their audio-only comprehension as possible. Is this a newer test (I haven't been in audiology for ten years now, so anything after 1997 is new to me)?

I always look down to my right when I am trying to process sound. Which bit of my brain is working there, does anyone know?

If your left ear is the one with more residual hearing, maybe you're just turning to get the best acoustics? Did you do this before that accident?

By the way, I share your frustration with some of the testing conditions. My hearing is considered "normal," but in background noise I have a tough time comprehending speech even when everyone around me isn't having a problem. My classmates would test me and say there was no problem, but I could never convince them that a test in which "background noise" was a higher-pitched, steady white noise could never imitate true conditions (traffic, party chatter, etc.).

by lychee on Sun Apr 1st, 2007 at 06:09:06 PM EST
I remember speech discrimination tests in school where they said individual words and put paper up to cover their faces or made me turn away.  They always seemed to cheat to help me out.  I never understood what that achieved.  When people need to repeat a word or sentence 5 or 6 times before I get it, it's hardly fair to score it as a pass.

This time round they played a video. It showed a totally expressionless man talking almost in monotone.
First the video plays without sound, then the second section shows the man talking and has sound too and thirdly the screen is blank and it is just the sound. Different sets of sentences for each.

Sentences like;
'where is my jacket?'
'she was very. athletic. and joined. the school swimming and running. teams'
when did your aunt. get married?'

I can understand why test conditions need to be standardised but they do use unreal conditions. It wouldn't be too hard to to produce realistic background noise and see how people do then.  I'm just unable to filter out what I need from a whole mess of sound.

I do tend to turn my head for my left ear to pick up as much as possible, even when I am using a loop system where it makes no difference.  I think I always look down the the right when I am concentrating on processing sound. So I may look at someone to lipread and listen but then I'll glance down to process it.  

People who know me understand my delay and why I do things like acknowledge that I'm listening and then halfway through the next sentence and realise I didn't get the first one and ask to go back; or not get a sentence and ask them to repeat, by which time my brain has processed and I've got it.

So far this digital aid seems better than the one I tried a few years ago but I haven't worn it out and about yet.

My biggest bugbear is that the volume is difficult to control. It goes up in notches and has 4 levels before returning to the lowest one again if you press it enough times (and I can't tell the difference too easily). On analogue you can turn the dial from 0 to 4 of no sound to full volume.

Also I need to wait for my new mold to come through, because I'm getting some feedback at the moment, hence the awkwardness of not being able to easily adjust the volume to reduce feedback.

Off to work today so further testing of the technology will be taking place!!

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Mon Apr 2nd, 2007 at 02:39:59 AM EST
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