I found some neat resources online that I thought I would share. They help me to better understand Blair’s hearing loss and why she likes those aids so much! I also know that sometimes when write about hearing levels that it is like a foreign language to those of you who have never been exposed to it. Believe me, it was certainly foreign to me at one time, and I’m still learning!
This is a really cool video that I found through another blog. Blair is in the mild-moderate range without hearing aids, and she is now more within normal limits. (That is not considering some of the “static” she may be experiencing because of the Auditory Neuropathy Dys-synchrony.)
I would also like to post an audiogram with the speech banana. The audiogram is a chart on which they plot Blair’s responses during booth testing. While sitting in my lap, she listens to sounds in a soundproof booth and is rewarded for turning to each sound. They plot the responses on the chart according to what decibel and pitch they are.
The audiogram shows the frequency and decibel level of different sounds on each of the axes. The banana is the part in which speech sounds fall. So our hope for Blair is for her booth tests to show that she hears in the lower decibel parts of the banana (upper portion on the chart) or quieter, which would show us that she’s hearing all speech sounds (again, not considering the static).
You can see on the diagram that the loudness goes from quiet at the top to LOUD at the bottom and frequencies go from the left to the right. Right around 20dB is within normal limits for hearing speech – notice that 20dB is at the upper part of the banana. Everything below that is louder. Blair’s last tests came in at 10dB and 20dB for speech (depending on the test), which is great! We just hope there’s not much static behind that normal hearing level. If you want to read more about the “static” to which I’m referring, I explain it in this post and this post on Auditory Neuropathy.
See those letters in the banana way out to the right? Those are the high frequency sounds – s and th as in the word thin. High frequency hearing loss seems to be common (that’s me saying that without looking it up), but Blair is actually repeating s and not some of the “easier” sounds. She’s pretty good with m but not so much with b, d, and n, which are all right there together. (The d was great until just recently when it turned to g.) Then over to the right some, she’s also good with g and h but not so good with p as an initial sound – she’s got it at the end. It’s a puzzle to everyone! We’ll just keep praying!