This is a useful diagram that helps explain the hearing retest I posted about last time. It shows the frequencies and volume levels of common sounds such as water dripping, a piano playing, and a bird chirping. It also shows the “speech banana” including common phonemes such as “j”, “ch”, “th” and where they fall (see my earlier post for more information).
Frequency Spectrum of Familiar Sounds
Note also the ranges of loss on the right hand side: “mild”, “severe”, “profound”, etc.
I highlighted in red the approximate area where Fiona responded in her right ear during the retest. There were no responses in her left ear.
The funny thing is that in her original test, the results were the exact opposite (left ear instead of right). Unfortunately this discrepancy needs to be resolved to properly program her hearing aids, so the tie-breaker test is coming on Monday.
Anyway, I thought this diagram gave a helpful perspective. I guess Fiona will be enraptured the next time I mow the lawn 🙂
Here’s a fun 40 second video Eliza found – it shows an example of what a typical life activity, in this case watching the Flintstones, would sound like to individuals with different levels of hearing loss (mild-moderate-severe).
The blue shape in the graph is called the “speech banana” (no joke) and represents the region on an audiogram where the sounds of speech typically fall. The x-axis left-to-right represents increasing frequency heard (think bass to treble) while the y-axis represents an increasing volume (dB) threshold needed to hear that frequency. The red line shows the actual threshold limits for individuals with the various levels of loss throughout the video.
As the video progresses, watch as the right side of the red line dips further down. Once it dips below the blue “banana” you can instantly hear the speech getting muffled. The further it dips, the worse the effect. It is more typical to have loss at the high frequencies then low ones, hence the uneven slope of the line.
Hearing aides help by amplifying the problematic frequencies, or in the example above, by raising the red line back up on the right hand side. People with “profound” loss, though (which is rated even beyond severe) have too little signal to work with and thus amplification from an aide will not help. That is where Cochlear Implants come in.
I thought this was an interesting way to help visualize the differences, even if Fred was being a jerk…