2008 Volume 51 Issue 3 Pages 208-213
Exaggeration of the hearing loss was detected in 28 ears of 14 cases (24%) among 58 cases who were referred to our department between 2003 and 2006 for compensation of noise-induced hearing loss as a workers' accident an occupational hazard.
Exaggeration of hearing loss was noticed by discrepancies in the results among several hearing tests or behavior, for example, between bilateral pure-tone audiometry test thresholds and the conversation status (93%), tinnitus masking tone thresholds (64%), auditory brainstem response thresholds (57%), stapedial reflex thresholds (50%), and speech audiogram thresholds (21%). Unexplained pure-tone audiogram threshold fluctuations were observed in 57% of the cases with hearing thresholds aggravation loss exaggeration.
Eight of the 14 cases of exaggeration showed better and reliable pure-tone audiometry test thresholds after being requested to desist from exaggeration. Comparison of the results of pure-tone audiometry between cases with and without exaggeration revealed the functional exaggerative overlay mainly in the low and mid frequencies. Additionally, 2 cases revealed to deceive the cause of hearing loss by showing in 2 cases, an attempt at deception as to the cause of the hearing loss was detected by an evident air-bone gap caused by middle ear disease.