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Using Speech Bananas in Hearing Tests and Hearing Loss Assessments

Sorry to disappoint you, but the “speech banana” is not an innovative new super fruit; it’s not for eating at all.The “speech banana” is a distinctive pattern depicted on an audiogram. Audiograms are typically charted with the frequency level (measured in Hertz) on one the x axis and volume level (measured in Decibels) on the y axis.

The phrase ‘speech banana’ stems from the banana-shaped cluster of points on the audiogram that arises when human language is analyzed. Nearly the whole alphabet and the majority of letter combinations (such as th, ch, sh, and ng) fall into the speech banana range on an audiogram. The primary exceptions are the letters q, w, x, and y.

For those who have normal hearing, you can hear sounds inside this range, but can also hear higher-frequency sounds such as leaves rustling or birds chirping and lower-frequency sounds such as tubas or machinery. However the sounds that are most important to our communications with other humans are the sounds we make when talking. Individuals with hearing loss often have difficulty hearing specific vowels and the letter combinations ng, ch, sh and th.

Consequently, audiologists and hearing specialists are most focused on hearing loss that develops within the region of the speech banana. If an audiogram exposes that an individual has hearing loss within the speech banana region, it is nearly certain that they’re having communication difficulties.

The speech banana is considered so vital to healthy hearing that many school districts have required audiograms for their students so that they can identify and address hearing problems early, espcially those affecting communications. The significance of this special range of sounds is also why hearing aids need to be properly tuned and programmed by a professional audiologist or hearing specialist, to make sure you can hear the sounds of human speech clearly.Whether you presently use hearing aids or not, give us a call if you have questions about your hearing ability in the critical speech banana frequency and volume range.

Can Low Cost Personal Sound Amplifiers Substitute for Hearing Aids?

What is the exact difference between a hearing aid and a personal sound amplifier (PSA)? One difference is that the PSA is being aggressively advertised in recent months generating a great deal of confusion. You don’t see comparable advertisements for hearing aids in part because they are medical devices according to the Food & Drug… Continue Reading

Treatment, Prevention and Symptoms of Swimmer’s Ear – Acute External Otitis

Acute external otitis or otitis externa – more commonly known as swimmer’s ear – is an infection that strikes the outer ear canal, the area outside your eardrum. It is termed “swimmer’s ear” because it quite often arises due to moisture staying in the ears after swimming; this provides a moist environment that promotes microbial… Continue Reading

Regenerating Hair Cells in the Ears is One Potential Route for Reversing Hearing Loss

As hearing professionals, one of the frustrations we experience in our practice is that the issues that have caused hearing problems in our patients can’t be reversed. Damage to the tiny, very sensitive hair cells of the inner ear is among the more common reasons for hearing loss. The job of these hair cells is… Continue Reading

Can it Trigger Additional Hearing Losses if I am Subjected to High Decibel Sounds When I am Using My Hearing Aid?

Patients that are being fitted for a hearing aid to help them hear better often ask what the hearing aid will do with sounds which are still too loud for them. This is a normal question, one for which there is fortunately a comforting answer. In a nutshell, modern hearing aids that are properly fitted… Continue Reading

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Avalon Hearing Aid Center, Inc.

1260 Fulton Avenue, Ste B,

Sacramento, CA 95825

(916) 930-6347

Avalon Hearing Aid Center, Inc.

8146 Greenback Lane, Ste 100,

Fair Oaks, CA 95628

(916) 930-6347