Normal Hearing

Normal Hearing

Photo collage of diverse group of people with hearing loss

Some Observations on ‘Normal’ Hearing and Hearing Loss

What is ‘Normal’ Hearing?

Ask an audiologist what “normal” hearing is and, not surprisingly, you will get a variety of responses (Figure 1). Certainly, normal pure-tone threshold sensitivity does not rule out hearing difficulty or the presence of auditory pathology, including cochlear and auditory neural peripheral or central deficits. Further, a number of non-auditory factors can contribute to a patient’s perceived hearing difficulty (e.g., cognitive capacity, attention, medications, etc.). 

Topic(s): Hearing Loss, Normal Hearing, audiology, Audiometry

Behavioral Audiology—An Introduction

An Open Letter to the Audiology Community

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brain and ear abstract illustration

The Hearing Brain

Audiologists are regularly faced with the patient who presents to their office with a variety of hearing complaints. They often report significant difficulty hearing, particularly in background noise. These hearing difficulties negatively affect them both occupationally and socially. However, upon assessment, the pure-tone audiogram results demonstrate “normal” peripheral hearing sensitivity. These are perhaps not the anticipated results, given the patient’s reported difficulties.

Topic(s): auditory system, central auditory processing (CAP), Central auditory processing disorder (CAPD), brain, Normal Hearing


Publication Issue: Audiology Today May/June 2020

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JAAA Editorial: The American Academy of Audiology Honors Committee: A Mechanism to Acknowledge Those in Audiology Who Have Gone Above and Beyond in Their Contribution to the Profession

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Volume 30, Number 7,

July/August 2019

Patricia Gaffney, AuD  Chair, Academy Honors Committee

Devin L. McCaslin, PhD 
• Deputy Editor, Journal of the American Academy of Audiology

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Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans

It’s no secret that a significant key to good health is maintaining a physically active lifestyle. But, approximately 80 percent of U.S. adults and children fall short of the recommended guidelines.

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Can You Hear Me Now?

Hearing difficulty (HD) and tinnitus in the presence of normal audiometric thresholds represent a clinical challenge. So-called, hidden hearing loss (HHL) has captured significant interest from clinicians and researchers in attempts to understand factors that contribute to this phenomenon. Etiologies ranging from cochlear synaptopathy to central auditory processing deficits have been suggested. Most audiologists have come across these patients with complaints of hearing problems (particularly in noise) but normal hearing.

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The Cocktail Party Effect

2016 is over, and many of us attended celebrations of remembrance of the year's transpiration and resolutions for the year to come. Civilizations around the world have been celebrating the New Year for at least four millennia, but not always in December. Learn more about the history of New Year’s Eve (NYE).

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Study Finds Support for Classroom Acoustics Standards (ANSI/ASA, 2010)

A recently-published study by Frank Ingelhart evaluated the speech perception performance of 23 children with cochlear implants and 23 children with normal hearing through the speech frequencies (500-4000 Hz). Speech perception testing was completed in a classroom environment at three different reverberation times—0.9 seconds, 0.6 seconds, and 0.3 seconds.

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The Importance of Frequency Regions for Cochlear Implant Patients

Sladen and Ricketts (2015) report that given current cochlear implant (CI) technology, the majority of post-lingually deafened adults achieve 80 percent word recognition (in quiet) after only six months experience with a CI. In their study, CI users were presented with monaural information and the NH listeners had binaural input. The noisy condition was a 10 dB SNR with six-talker babble. Of note, “the average decrease in performance between quiet and noisy conditions was 13% for the NH group and 20 percent for the CI group.”  

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