Hearing Test

In the early part of May I came down with a pretty severe flu and it led to an ear infection. About three weeks ago, I basically lost my hearing in my right ear for several days. It had cleared up, or so I thought, until yesterday. At around noon. Pressure on the inner ear and then a general decline in auditory performance leading to complete hearing loss during the night.

I woke at about 1am. I reached a conclusion fairly quickly: hearing loss terrifies me.

I use software that Daniel Griscom created a number of years back called ToneTester. A series of tones are issued left and right with sliders that can determine relative sensitivity and inter-aural pitch difference.

At around 2am, I decided to test my hearing. I could perceive little in the way of pitch below roughly 3 KHz. Nothing in the low end below 500 Hz.

I woke up around 5:30am and the hearing had improved a little. There is still a strong feeling of the ear being plugged but I had fairly good response on my right ear with consistent pitch perception down to 220 Hz. At 220 Hz and below, my right ear is now a full semitone off pitch. Although I do not have precision on overall response ear-to-ear, I think I am about 3 dB or so off on the right — basically the sound in my left ear is perceived as quite a bit louder than the sound in my right ear.

This will begin to improve as the ear infection takes its course. Unfortunately it can take weeks, even months, for a viral ear infection to resolve.

ToneTester runs on a Mac and requires Rosetta. Daniel, you wrote a terrific utility and it has helped me out several times over the years as I battled with tinnitus and then with ear infections.

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