New Testing for Hearing Loss

Man with hearing loss trying to hear
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Woman getting her hearing tested

Better hearing testing is being developed all of the time. A recently released hearing test includes the use of binaural technology to provide more accurate hearing test results. Binaural means “across -ears” and the test involves using volumes that mirror a normal conversation to detect changes in sounds.

The study that resulted in these findings was performed at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and published in The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America in November 2016. If you have ever been to your doctor for a hearing related complaint, you may have been tested and told that your results were normal. However, you can still sense some challenges in your hearing. This test, performed by your hearing care specialist, can be more telling and will allow for faster identification of a possible problem and lead to the right treatment.

The two professors responsible for validating this new technique are Leslie R. Bernstein and Constantine Trahiotis, both professors of neuroscience and surgery. Professor Trahiotis is an emeritus professor. Using 31 test subjects between the ages of 30 and 67 who all tested in the normal range with traditional audiograms each experienced noteworthy defects in the new binaural testing process.

This is all great news for each of us on an individual level because it will allow us to receive the necessary care we need to retain or improve our hearing. The study is also significant to the larger picture that comes to light, which is that hearing impairments are likely more widespread than initially expected. In addition, hearing ringing in our ears or sensing hearing loss after attending a loud concert may not be temporary conditions.

This new testing process may even help us to better define “normal” hearing, which will also lead to faster diagnosis and treatments. The hearing care industry may be able to treat the loss in a way that slows its progression and hopefully one day soon, find treatments to restore our hearing. All excellent news for us!