Last week we learned about how to describe and categorize different type of hearing loss. Once the ear hears the sound, this sound is sent from the cochlea to the auditory nerve, up to the hearing centers in our brain. Once the sound is heard, it is up to the auditory nerve and the auditory center in the brain to understand what the ear has heard. This is where we use percentages.
When someone has hearing loss, we want to know how well the nerve and brain can understand speech when it is loud enough for the ear to hear it. So we use a scientific formula to determine at what level we need the volume to be, and then ask the patient to repeat words at this level. This percentage tells us how well the patient can understand speech when it is loud enough for them to hear it. The chart below explains the different categories of speech understanding:
|Percentage of words correct
|Description of Understanding
|Moderately severe difficulty
So, this means that if a patient gets 65% of the words correct, they have moderate difficulty understanding speech – regardless of their hearing levels. Sometimes people confuse this with their percentage of hearing loss. But after learning about the difference, you will never make that mistake!
My next post will be about anatomy and physiology of the ear – which could help with some of the terminology used in this post. Hope you enjoyed learning about hearing loss!
“Positive anything is better than negative nothing.”
– Elbert Hubbard