Edis Bevan: When I see someone speaking, I can hear them. Is my audiogram wrong?

Posted on March 13, 2014



Here is an odd thing I notice when attending public meetings. It is a kind of ‘cueing-in’ for sounds. And I am now wondering if this explains my latest audiology results.

Sometimes at meetings I want to say something. But I need to know nobody else is speaking, so I don’t interrupt.

The odd thing is that often when I look round the room and see that someone else is speaking, suddenly I can detect the sounds of their speech.

Before, all I detected was quiet. But if I am cued that a sound is supposed to be present, I can somehow target it and use it.

Anyone else had this experience?

According to my latest audiology test, I only detect ‘environmental’ sounds. Officially, I no longer have detectable responses in the speech range.

But when I took the test I had some really odd feelings as if I knew there was a test sound present just couldn’t say if I was imagining it or not.

I wonder if I could have picked out those odd feelings as sounds if I knew there was a signal intended at that moment – rather like I can when looking round a room.

With my existing hearing aids, I can in fact still pick up a lot of speech range sounds, as I happily proved to myself talking to people I never met before over the Christmas period.

Of course I am at the limit with the audiology tests, and I wonder if I might have a more realistic chart if they tested down to 120 db.

Do other people here have experiences like mine? And have they had arguments with audiologists on the accuracy of tests at these limits?

It would be really helpful to know before they next start talking about implants for me…

Edis Bevan went deaf when he was about four back in the days when signing was actively discouraged. He is a former lecturer in the Technology Faculty of the Open University and was one of the first deaf Open University tutors. He lives in Milton Keynes.

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