Hearing versus Auditory Processing Disorders: Are Hearing Aids Enough?
TJ is a 47-year-old male who worked as a financial consultant. At 40 years, TJ began noticing problems understanding soft speech and when communicating in noisy places. Upon encouragement from his wife, TJ scheduled an appointment to see an otolaryngologist. At the examination, the physician could not find any disease process to explain his hearing problems and referred him to an audiologist whose audiometric examination revealed hearing to be within normal limits between 250 and 4,000 Hz, followed by a mild sensorineural hearing loss at 8,000 Hz. In addition, Speech Recognition Thresholds (SRT) indicated normal ability to receive speech and Word Recognition Scores (WRS) indicated normal ability to recognize speech. Finally, immittance audiometry and ipsilateral Acoustic Reflex Thresholds (ART) at 500 to 4,000 Hz indicated normal middle ear function.