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Baffling, Yet Hopeful (We Think), Hearing Test

Posted Mar 01 2010 8:35pm
Liam had his first soundbooth hearing test today. Trying to do the ABR test, which requires sedation, is really challenging because of his NEHI problems. The goal is to condition him to be responsive in a soundfield situation and bypass the need for sedated ABR testing.

Linda Daniel met us there to work in the booth with him on his testing. Without any hesitation, we got started on his test. As the testing went on, it was very obvious that Liam wasn't hearing much of anything at all. I knew that going in, and it really didn't get me down. Then we moved to the part of the test where we start all over, but with him wearing his hearing aids. With the kind of aids he has, we would expect to see immediate results.

Even with the hearing aids in, we were only seeing about a 60-80db threshold. Not a good thing. On a hunch, Linda suggested that we do the bone hearing test. (I know that's not the correct term for it, but my brain is friend and I can't remember the right word.) They put what looked like a headphone without the foam coverings on him behind the ears.

The idea was that this would put the sound directly into his cochlea, and effectively avoid his entire middle ear. The results? Only a 20-40db hearing loss!!! That's only mild to moderate losses!!!! It would still require him to wear hearing aids, but speech would be much easier for him later.

The truth is that we don't really know what all this means. There are a lot of possible reasons why he was so responsive that don't have a ton to do with his actual hearing, but it's a big question mark right now. We will see Dr. Peters on Wednesday afternoon to determine what we need to do next. It may very well be the bone ABR. (Again, not the right term. I will find the correct vocabulary and come back to replace it later.)

So, that's the the latest news. It's not really real news right now, I guess. But, it is a change in what we thought as recently as this morning, so it's worth reporting.
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