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How to Read Your Hearing Test

You have a mild hearing loss in the high frequencies. The pattern is suggestive of noise damage. On average, your hearing is normal, but note how your hearing loss dips into the consonant area. Under perfect listening conditions, you will miss a few words off and on because of not hearing s's, z's, th's, v's, and other soft, high frequency consonasts. Still, as long as your measure speech discrimination scores ("SDS," or "SD" on your audiogram) is 90% or better in at least one ear, you should not have any problems conversing under good listening conditions.

Under noisy conditions, you will have more trouble. Work to improve the acoustics in your environment, or get a better quality telephone, or make an effort to converse face-to face, in quiet places.

Basic hearing aids would be more of a hindrance than a help for this hearing loss. Sophisticated hearing aids might be of some help, though the amount of benefit might not justify the cost. What IS critical is to protect your remaining hearing. Do what you can to avoid loud noise. Use effective hearing protection when you cannot.

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