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Choices in Deafness

Hearing Loss Simulation Audio Files

These recordings were produced by Dr. Charles Berlin, the lead author of the chapter on Auditory Neuropathy. The simulations on the recording were done by Dr. F.G. Zeng and the voice you hear is that of Dr. Arnold Starr. The audio file was normalized by Val Sapcariu of SJV Media.

The audio files are designed to give hearing listeners an idea of what speech sounds like to children who have either auditory neuropathy or hearing losses for specific frequencies. Each example of a specific frequency loss illustrates only how speech sounds if the child has a loss at that particular frequency (pitch). Keep in mind that most children with hearing losses have hearing losses for more than one frequency, so to understand what speech sounds like for any given child, you may have to listen to several of the tracks of the audio files.

Look at your child’s audiogram to determine which of the tracks below most closely replicates your child’s hearing profile. For example, if your child has a "sloping configuration," as described in Chapter 2, that means he can hear lower frequencies relatively well, but has trouble hearing high frequencies, so you should listen to the tracks that illustrate high frequency losses. If he has a "rising configuration," then he has the opposite problem, and you should listen to the tracks that illustrate low frequency losses.

Note that the audio files will not give you a good indication of how loud or soft speech sounds to any given deaf or hard of hearing child. Tracks 5—20 were recorded as if the child has a 100 dB loss (meaning that sounds have to be at least 100 dB for him to hear them). If your child’s hearing loss is less than 100 dB, then he will be able to hear sounds at a softer level; if it is greater than 100 dB, he will not be able to hear sounds unless they are louder than 100 dB.

The odd numbered tracks contain an explanation of what you will hear on the track that follows. When the narrator uses the terms "high pass" and "low pass," he is referring to the frequencies that are audible. A high pass recording allows the high frequencies to pass through to the listener’s ear but not the low frequencies; therefore, it mimics a low frequency hearing loss. When it is a low pass, that means the low frequencies can pass through to the listener’s ear but not the high frequencies; therefore, it is a high frequency hearing loss.

Before you listen to the recordings, take a moment to compare your child’s audiogram with the descriptions of hearing losses on the tracks below. That way you can concentrate on listening to the tracks that most closely simulate your child’s hearing loss.

Tracks 1 & 2: Auditory Neuropathy
Explanation/simulation of how the ear hears with auditory neuropathy. The simulation proceeds from severe auditory neuropathy to normal hearing. Listen carefully.

Tracks 3 & 4: Normal Hearing
Explanation/simulation of normal hearing with no hearing loss. Dr. Berlin calls this Full Band Hearing—meaning that all frequencies are allowed through.


Hearing Losses at Specific Frequencies

Tracks 5 & 6: 250 Hz Low Pass
Explanation/simulation of how speech sounds with a high frequency loss of 100 dB at 500 Hz, and normal hearing below 250 Hz.

Tracks 7 & 8: 500 Hz Low Pass
Explanation/simulation of how speech sounds with a high frequency loss of 100 dB at 1000 Hz, and normal hearing below 500 Hz.

Tracks 9 & 10: 1000 Hz High Pass
Explanation/simulation of how speech sounds with a low frequency hearing loss of 100 dB at 1000 Hz with normal hearing at 2000 Hz.

Tracks 11 & 12: 1000 Hz Low Pass
Explanation/simulation of how speech sounds with a high frequency hearing loss beginning at 1000 Hz with a 100 dB loss at 2000 Hz.

Tracks 13 & 14: 2000 Hz High Pass
Explanation/simulation of how speech sounds with a low frequency hearing loss of 100 dB at 2000 Hz, with normal hearing at 4000 Hz.

Tracks 15 & 16: 2000 Hz Low Pass
Explanation/simulation of how speech sounds with a high frequency hearing loss beginning at 2000 Hz with a hearing loss of 100 dB at 4000 Hz.

Tracks 17 & 18: 4000 Hz/4 kHz High Pass
Explanation/simulation of how speech sounds with a low frequency hearing loss of 100 dB at 4000 Hz with normal hearing at 8000 Hz.

Tracks 19 & 20: 4000 Hz/4 kHz High Pass
Explanation/simulation of how speech sounds with a high frequency hearing loss beginning at 4000 Hz with a loss of 100 dB at 8000 Hz.

Note that many older adults with age-related hearing loss (presbycusis), as well as adults with noise-induced hearing loss (from exposure to loud noises) have a hearing loss of this nature. With this type of high frequency hearing loss, the ability to hear speech sounds is usually most affected when there is background noise.

 

 

  

   
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