A Normal Hearing Audiogram Could Indicate a Deeper Issue

 

Did you have a normal hearing audiogram near Alma, MI, but your hearing feels anything but normal to you?

Are you struggling to pick up conversations over background noise?

Are you avoiding summer cookouts and graduation parties because you just can’t hear in a crowd?

 

The test said my hearing is normal — why can’t I hear well?

The journey to diagnose and treat hearing loss is not always simple or straightforward. It can take patience and a caring professional staff to find the cause and treatment that works for each individual. 

For some, a basic audiology test quickly pinpoints the problem. For others, it may just be the start of the process. 

The audiogram that shows the results of your hearing test tells your hearing care specialist what kinds of sounds you don’t hear well. While it’s a valuable baseline for finding help, it doesn’t measure a real-life situation with conversation, music, television, or all of the beeps and chimes of modern life. 

Many people are surprised to find that their hearing test resulted in a “normal” hearing audiogram, even though they are sure that their hearing has changed, or that other people seem to hear things that they can’t. This is hidden hearing loss. It doesn’t mean that your loss isn’t real, it just means that it isn’t measured on an audiogram. Hidden hearing loss is common. 

A normal hearing audiogram only shows that you can hear all sorts of quiet sounds in a silent, test environment. You may still struggle in places with background noise or mixed sounds. For example, you might be able to hear music play or a one-on-one conversation, but not be able to hear normal conversation in a room where music is playing. Or you may find movies and TV hard to follow if there is background noise. 

Hidden hearing loss can get worse, so it’s important to continue to work with your hearing care center after a normal hearing audiogram. Young people should be especially vigilant to prevent further damage now, which can worsen with age. 

What causes hidden hearing loss? 

Hidden hearing loss can be caused by short exposure to intensely loud sounds, like jet engines or explosions, or frequent exposure to loud noise. Do you love a loud concert? Do you operate lawn mowers or chain saws for a living? Experts are seeing hidden hearing loss in music fans who are exposed to loud concerts, or who use headphones to listen to loud music. Even children who use headphones improperly show early hearing loss. 

People perceive sound through an intricate system that converts sound waves to electrical signals in the brain. Key parts of the hearing system are hair cells in the inner ear and nerve cells which carry electrical impulses to the brain. Both can be injured by exposure to loud noises. When the nerve cells are damaged it is normally harder to pick out specific sounds in noisy places. This is the type of hearing loss that doesn’t show up on an audiogram.

If your audiogram is normal, that is valuable information for your hearing care professional as you work toward a solution. Every person’s hearing experience is different and it can be hard to explain to someone what you are experiencing. Your hearing professional is trained to listen to you and identify your specific difficulty. 

Technology can help many different types of hearing loss. If you have hidden hearing loss, a hearing aid may be right for you. There are specialized hearing aids that will help you block out white noise or focus on sounds close to you. You don’t have to just live with hidden hearing loss. Keep working with us and explore the many options available to help you hear the world around you. 

Visit One of Our Convenient Locations!

If you had a normal hearing audiogram near Alma, MI, you’re in our neck of the woods! We’d be happy to talk to you about your results and help you find the answers you’re looking for.

We have two convenient locations serving St. Johns, Alma, Maple Rapids, Owosso, Ithaca, Ovid-Elsie, Dewitt, Laingsburg, and the surrounding communities.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment:

St. Johns – (989) 796-4555 – Monday, Thursday, and Friday (inside Michigan Psychological Care)

Alma – (989) 292-3572 – Tuesday and Wednesday (inside Michigan Psychological Care)

Schedule your appointment today! You should hear what you’ve been missing!

 

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