hearing loss progression- audiogram


I thought it might be interesting to post my audiograms from my first one in 1994 at the age of 40 until before my CI. I have only posted one ear, the right but my hearing has been fairly symmetrical. And we all know that the secret of true beauty lies in symmetry.

Here is an audiogram chart that shows the different stages of hearing loss. With a little bit of cross referencing you can see that I had a mild to severe hearing loss when I was first prescribed with hearing aids.  The aids I was given were clunky analogue aids that did not give the clarity that current digital aids do. I didn’t get digital aids until 2002.


I had had a hearing loss for some years, I knew I had some loss but had not realised just how bad it was. It’s only now that I can hear things with the CI that I realise just how bad my hearing has become. I’m going to give myself a pat on the back for coping, for achievements, for being me. Like many people with hearing loss I’ve had a shit time at times. The effects on our lives and psyche are profound. I think I’m allowed some grumpy, upset moments, I think they should be understandable.

Yesterday somebody asked me if you had to be very deaf to be able to get a CI. Maybe she just hadn’t noticed…..


14 responses »

  1. Hey just saw your audiogram post!! It was interesting to see the progression in hearing loss!! I was diagnosed with a severe bilateral hearing impairment at 9 months old and by 7 my left ear was profoundly deaf, at 12/13 my right ear reached the profound levels.
    I was implanted in left ear at 10 years old. I still wear a HA in my right ear. My right ear begins at 90db at 250hz and ends at NR at 120 db at 4hz.

  2. Melissa. I just used excel and plotted in all the audiogram results i could find. Then I made a chart. Copied the chart into Paint to save it as a picture and then posted.

    I've been to your blog before, but am off there again right now

  3. Interesting post. To be honest it scares me a bit, because I'm still in my 40's. I've been comparing my audiogram with yours. I wonder where I will be in 10 years time? No one can say.

  4. I'm in the same boat… and I definitely owe my own blog a post on this… but… easier to write here 🙂 Because I'm hearing so MUCH more with the CI I'm thinking really hard about doing the other ear…. I have about 3 months to decide if I want to do it this year or not (insurance reasons, but trying not to let it influence my decision, it's just money.)

  5. Thanks for the tip Sara, I always forget about google docs. How did your mapping go BTW? Oh, and the cable for radios/puters etc, does that click all the way into the speech processor? mine clicks back out again, maybe a 16th of an inch?

    Sarah, it's scary how quickly my hearing went from something I could deal with to something that I couldn't. Hearing aids got better as my hearing went down though so maybe I didnt notice as much as I would have if I had had a decent HA set to start with. I must have a look at your blog and find your audiogram

  6. Mog, here's my audiograms on my blog: http://deafdude1.blogspot.com/2009/08/all-my-audiograms-thus-far-with-my.html

    Thanks very much for sharing your audiograms on your progressing hearing loss. My audiograms are all that I could find.

    I got my first digital HAs in 1998 and it was an improvement over my analog HAs. I got my 2nd digital HAs in 2008 and it made everything louder and my speech scores went up 20% from the new HAs.

    Since ive been deaf since birth, I have no idea what hearing with a CI or normal hearing is like. I do know I don't hear any high frequencies and I hear very little above 500Hz. I may have cochlear dead zones above 500Hz and it's likley you also have dead zones above 500Hz to 750Hz. I cope very well with lipreading but would like to have more hearing someday.

    Sara, Ive read some of your blog. Do you wear a HA in the CI ear as well as a HA in the contralateral ear? You did say you are doing great with a bimodel approach, especially with the low frequencies.

    You also said youd try different HAs, including transpositional HAs in the good ear. Have you gotten a chance to get more powerful HAs? I experienced a 20% improvement in speech with more amplification.

    My friend Phi4sius has an audiogram similar to yours, Sara in his good ear and his bad ear is dead. His loss is severe-profound and starts at 70db at 250Hz and drops to 105db at 4000Hz. He wanted a CI in his dead ear but insurance rejected him saying he had too much hearing in the good ear and that he can hear at 20db which is already as good as CI. He asked around and was told a CI in his dead ear would not give any more hearing than what he gets with HA in his good ear.

    He cancelled his CI appointment and has decided not to appeal insurance after hearing news of stem cell breakthrus. He has told me after reading my blog the news about stem cells and that I should not get CI in 3-5 years because he knows for a fact that ill be able to get stem cells in a couple years from now. He says he will be signing up for the first adult clinical trials that he heard will start sometime in 2010. He wants to hear again in his dead ear and improve his good ear.

  7. Just curious – do you know what the cause of your deafness is. I have had sensorineural deafness since birth – with audiograms much worse than yours in the early stages – but became much worse recently cos barotrauma caused by flying.
    And yes, we deafies – or anyone – should pat ourselves on our backs from time to time. We don't do enough of it – looking at what we haven't acheived rather than what we have!

  8. PS I have started a blog – at your suggestion! do you mind if I mention your blog and do you have any tips? I have never done anything like this before.

  9. Hi Fran. No, no known cause. My mum has a similar deafness, with similar worsening. As she is older than me she has a much worse hearing loss. All the ENT bods will say is that it's hereditary and congenital.

    DeafDude, I hope the stemcell wait works out for you. I am so pleased with my CI, I am hearing much better than I thought I would be able to. Of course I have an auditory memory and so it's easier for me to attach things and people to the sounds I hear, but even so I can hear crickets and I have never heard them before apart from on the movies.

    Have you done a search for medical peer reviewed papers on stem cells for hearing? That would be more reliable than annectdotal evidence. I will try to remember to ask about it at my next hospital appointment

  10. Hi Mog,
    Here's the link to my audiogram.
    When you were first tested, did the audiologists tell you it would be progressive or was that something that had to be seen over several years?
    To me it's interesting that the audiologists said you have a hereditary hearing loss as no one else in my family has one and I haven't known what to make of that.

  11. Hi Sarah, Thanks for the link. When I was diagnosed I was in the UK and so was seen in the National Health Service. I had audiograms and then was seen by an ENT specialist physician who took a medical history and excluded any other reason for hearing loss based on that. He said that I would have had a hearing loss since childhood and that as my mum and her sister both had a similar hearing loss then it was most likely hereditary. It was also likely to follow a similar pattern to my mother's and so be progressive. No audiologist has ever said what type of loss I have. The original ENT man has been proven right in his diagnosis.

    I suppose without a famiy trait to refer to then the diagnosis can't be made. It can only be that "this type of hearing loss is typical of hereditary types"
    He prescribed bilateral hearing aids with annual audiograms.

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