Friday, March 5, 2010

I visited hearing dispenser for new earmolds. Got new audiogram. Discussion on stem cells, connexin26.

This is my most recent audiogram(March 5, 2010) using Madsen conera audiometer. I was shocked to see how bad my lows were, but was told the Eartone A3 insert phone results in worse lows because it eliminates vibrotactile responses. She said the inserts are the way to go over headphones as they are more accurate, especially in the lows. She didn't test 1500Hz(probably 120db HL) nor 8000Hz(ha, won't hear 95db) She did give me a SRT(at 105db HL) with spondee words and out of 20 words, I got 2 right. Anyone know what this would translate for sentences? She also said she only sees 2 people a year with a loss as bad or worse than mine. This got me thinking about stem cells and how ill be happy with 20db improvement, but more is better. I read a study on the internet confirming this was the case. I wonder if my 60db HL at 125Hz with headphones was partially vibrotactile? I doubt the 75db HL at 250Hz is enough to feel any vibrations though. As for the mids and highs, they are exactly as I expected. This audiometer can actually go to 125db HL for some frequencies and I actually didn't hear/respond to 4000Hz at 125db HL! I don't recall hearing any whistles or high pitches but felt pressure in my eardrums. I responded anyway and this must explain my "hearing" at 2000Hz and 3000Hz. This may also explain why many people's audiograms flattens/levels at or around 120db HL, they are actually responding from "feeling" the sound as pressure in their ears(not to be confused with feeling vibrations at 125Hz and 250Hz)

I have recreated my audiogram using audiogram maker to make it easier to read. The "S" is the attenuator limit for the Madsen conera audiometer. I was shocked to find out it can go so high in most frequencies, especially 1000Hz! I have an old audiometer at home that maxes out at 110db HL(for 500-6000Hz) The 6000Hz(105db HL) and 8000Hz(95db HL) are only 5db less than what most other audiometers max out at which is 110 and 100db HL. But if you can't hear, it doesn't matter anyway as no HA will help you at 6000Hz and 8000Hz. No HA will be of much use above 500Hz for me, that is, till I get stem cells and if it works.

This audiogram was on my old audiometer. This time, I had proper earplugs to simulate a mixed loss. The purpose was to see where I can feel vibrotactile stimulus. No wonder some audiometers only go to 70db HL at 125Hz and 90db at 250Hz. That's because some people will start to feel vibrations from their headphones around those levels. Some people may even feel vibrations at 500Hz at very high intensities of 115 or 120db.

Let me show you some links to connexin26. Read those articles for yourself, understand the facts and compare audiograms. The audiogram I provided above explains the range of hearing loss one usually has due to connexin26. One can see that stem cells should still give me significent benefit even if I had a genetic hearing loss. The phenotype can be altered by environment. Stem cells won't change my genes, but it can change the phenotype and thus improve hearing. I read that people with the exact same genes can have varying audiograms, typically in the severe-profound range.

Audiogram image.  Another audiogram image.  Good article on connexin26, 30  missense mutation audiogram.   GJB2 mutations with audiograms.  Different genes/mutations and HL.  Another article with audiograms. Research on HL. Long article on gene HL. 

My dad mentioned earlier today that even with a 100db HL(if stem cells gives me the above audiogram), this would be a decent improvement over what I currently have. You can see that I would outperform a CI by a mile in the low frequencies. I would match or come very close to CI in the mids and even in the highs, be only 5-10db behind, but with transposition(S symbol) I would outperform CI. 92db PTA would be about 12db worse than the average CI, but because the lows are so good and because the HAs are optimally programmed for maximum gains, youd hear more like only 5db worse than CI or so. Thus, youd score 70% on HINT-Q with hearing this "good". But id much rather have this audiogram than CI because the stem cells required to hopefully give me this hearing(or possibly better) would cost far less and be far safer with no surgery required and id preserve my residual hearing and can always get additional treatments. Id also benefit by being able to hear the lows unaided. I have discussed this in depth in previous posts. Thanks for reading! Ill keep you up to date, it may be another month before Nepsis has results of those 2 pioneers who probably already got stem cells. If their results and others are favorable, I will consider going ahead in a year or two.