Have you or someone close to you experienced hearing loss? You probably know how challenging it is to find the right hearing aids. Hearing loss can affect every aspect of our lives and having the right device to improve quality of life is absolutely vital.
Fortunately, there are various tests and techniques available to help the audiologist with this task. The online hearing test is especially popular, which is very convenient to use since you can get your hearing assessed without leaving your home.
However, in many cases, testing still needs to be done directly in the clinic. It is primarily due to the various types and causes of hearing loss, which cannot always be identified online.
Today, let us take a look at one of the diagnostic tests that is utilized by the audiologists for those seeking help with their hearing. Speech-in-Noise test is a great tool to use for individuals that are coming in for the first time to address their hearing as well as for those that have been wearing hearing aids for a long time.
What is SIN testing?
The Speech-in-Noise (SIN) test is a special technique, which allows you to determine a person’s ability to perceive sounds in background noise. It is suitable for both adults and children.
Why is this so important? Hearing test results show the degree of the hearing loss but the type of difficulties people experience in everyday lives can be observed with the use of Speech in Noise tests.
Audiologists use different types of SIN tests, which simulate different situations. It allows you to quickly and effectively determine the degree of the problem.
Hearing in Noise Test (HINT)
HINT measures a person’s ability to hear speech in noisy environments. In a test environment phrases with keywords are presented. The patient should repeat sentences in both quiet and noisy environments. The level of each sentence is adjusted according to the listener’s response.
Words in Noise (WIN)
Research is conducted with VA. The device speaks words against a background of various simulated noises. The patient must identify them.
A sentence in background noise is presented and the level of the noise is gradually increased. This helps to measure the speech to noise ratio to determine the level of difficulties one may experience in everyday life.
Bamford-Kowal-Bench SIN (BKB-SIN)
The testing principle is similar to QuickSIN. However, audiologists often use it to diagnose children.
Connected Speech Test (CST)
Testing shows the ability to understand coherent speech. An entire paragraph is presented with fixed background noise.
The audiologist individually for each patient determines the types of correct SIN tests (or maybe several at once).
Should I do the Hearing in Noise test?
Hearing loss does not appear overnight. Most often, it develops gradually over several years. The first symptom of the problem is hearing loss in noisy places, such as a restaurant, cinema, or with friends. A person first notices mishearing words and then simply missing the words or whole phrases, resulting in asking others to repeat.
On a side note, in general when it comes to noise, it is important to understand that prolonged exposure to noise itself can lead to hearing loss.
Every day, we experience noises and sounds in our environment at varying levels. Most sounds are at safe, normal levels. But some sounds are just too loud for our ears, even if the noise exposure is brief.
Often, people around the person notice that some kind of hearing problems have begun. In this case, a diagnostic hearing evaluation will help to establish the presence or absence of the problem at an early stage of development, allowing you to restore lost abilities.
Dr. Stella Fulman, one of the audiologists at Audiology Island, notes that many hearing aid users that she has met are not always satisfied with their performance or simply cannot decide whether they are satisfied with the functionality of the devices. The main reason is the concern of how the patient feels they perform in background noise.
Using speech in noise testing during the hearing aid fitting process, helps to minimize a patient’s difficulties and fine tune the devices in a way that works with each individual’s environment.
Does Speech-in-Noise testing really work?
What is the main advantage of speech-in-Noise testing? It creates a different listening environment in noisy environments which gives the doctor a complete picture of your hearing health.
Depending on the results, the audiologist may recommend hearing aids with additional features that are specific to your needs. Among them:
Technology of noise reduction
Model with specific signal processing
A device with a directional microphone, etc
Do not forget hearing aid pricing varies and many features will influence the cost, knowing what features you need will help you get the most for the cost that you are spending on the devices.
If you have used hearing aids for a long time, then you know very well that their performance often depends on the correct setting. SIN testing helps in this matter too.
As you can see, the Speech-in-Noise test is very important for the correct diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss. It’s a modern and safe method, which allows you to quickly and effectively solve the problem!
About Dr Stella Fulman
Dr. Stella Fulman, AU.D., CCC-A received her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Audiology from Brooklyn College in 2004 and her Doctorate of Audiology from Salus University in 2008. [ Learn More ]