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Thread: Is it possible to re-learn word recognition / speech discrimination?

  1. #11
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    Feb 2015
    NW Indiana
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    Mine dropped significantly due to Meniere's.
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  2. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Wales, UK


    Quote Originally Posted by spingee View Post
    How can you even lose wrs? Is it just severe+ hearing loss or delaying wearing HAs?
    By understanding that the development of sensorineural loss is more akin to macular degeneration rather than just a lowering of volume.
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  3. #13


    Quote Originally Posted by spingee View Post
    How can you even lose wrs? Is it just severe+ hearing loss or delaying wearing HAs?
    Original poster here. I do have a severe+ loss but have worn HAs for about 40 years. I lip-read, and my ability to compensate and "fill in the gaps" is quite good, according to the sentence comprehension portion of my last test. However, listening takes a tremendous amount of work and I find myself sometimes just tuning out borderline audible (to me) speech. I also use closed captioning whenever possible. Add to that hearing changes that normally occur with aging, the dispenser's comment about my brain forgetting how to process certain sounds due to lack of exposure to them...well, I don't know if the she's correct, but she's not implausible. I would like to try listening to random words for a few minutes a day to see if that enhances my ability to listen in any way.

    Thanks everyone for your comments and suggestions.

  4. #14


    Quote Originally Posted by Um bongo View Post
    By understanding that the development of sensorineural loss is more akin to macular degeneration rather than just a lowering of volume.
    I am not sure what that means, as I do not know much about macular degeneration. Here is my attempt to understand why WRS does not necessarily match a given loss or even necessarily is following an increasing loss in any linear way for an individual. The pure tone loss is just that, a measure of which decibel you are able to hear a certain tone at. Making out sound in speech is much more complex and thus an individual may have a mild moderate loss (for example), but something more going un with the nerve damage that further inhibits speech recognition. Is that a correct understanding? My WRS is in the 70'ies on the left ear and I see people here with worse loss and much better WRS.
    L R
    250Hz 25 25
    500Hz 20 20
    1000Hz 30 25
    1500Hz 55 40
    2000Hz 60 50
    3000Hz 60 50
    4000Hz 50 40
    6000Hz 50 40
    8000Hz 60 45

  5. #15


    WRS and don't tone scores don't always line up. Consider someone with an auditory processing issue who might have a normal audiogram and poor WRS. You could have the same tone scores as someone else, but much different WRS. Everyone's loss is different.

  6. #16


    I read a study a while back that found that many young soldiers with normal audiograms were falling apart in noise. The authors' conclusion was that blast damage was leaving hearing sensitivity intact (for now) but causing damage further up in the auditory system. So, there's a nice example.

    Apart from central processing issues, there are also many different types of cells in the inner ear. We talk about damage to the hair cells most often, but there are a lot of supporting cells that can also be damaged. Two people with identical audiograms can have very different hearing experiences.

  7. #17


    I had a related experience about 8 years ago. My right aid (I may have been wearing AGX ITE aids at the time?) started to slowly fail on me over about a year's time. In fact, in testing the aid, my aud-guy said it was working at about 80% (vs my working left aid, which had no problems).

    By the time I really noticed it (putting that aid in my ear first, and noticing how much lower the overall volume was!), my right ear WRS had fallen from about 80-odd percent to low 50s. It was really shocking how fast it fell. I got that aid fixed, and even better, bought a new pair of ITEs. I forced myself to use that right ear on the phone to try and retrain my brain to interpret speech again on that side. In about a year, I had another hearing test, and my WRS was up to 80% on that side. I was stunned.

    I do think that "lazy listening" (either due to poor attention or malfunctioning aids, or needing aids) can lead to a loss of speech discrimination ability over time. But my own experience (I was about 53 at the time) seemed to indicate that improvement can occur over time and active listening. I think that streamers and listening devices to help deliver CRISP CLEAR sound into the ears helps to once again re-learn speech. Then you can challenge your brain/ear connection with using a phone, listening to the TV (or laptop), watching shows where folks speak with accents and making an effort to interpret what they're saying.
    Last edited by 1Bluejay; 12-16-2016 at 11:28 PM.
    HAs from 1985>Starkey>Phonak>AGX>Oticon Agil Pro ITE>Oticon Opn miniRITE

    KHz 0.25...0.5...1.0...2.0...3.0...4.0....6.0...8.0

    Left ..65....80....80....65.....65....60....65....90
    Right 65....80....80....75.....75....70....65....90

  8. #18


    Quote Originally Posted by Abarsanti View Post
    I found that is a pretty good site and you can get most of the lessons for free.
    Nice! Thanks.

    I found that I 'hear' what the people are saying while reading their lips. About just under my hearing threshold loudness. Very funny.

    So I think it is prove I've been reading lips for years.
    For the multiple-choice I usually get 10xx of 1200. Only numbers are 1200 and context is 8xx. (But I am not a native speaker, so that's double impairment.)

  9. #19


    Thank you Bluejay and all the others who have commented! This is all very helpful.

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