New Perspectives on Assessing Amplification Effects

Pamela E. Souza, Kelly L. Tremblay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Clinicians have long been aware of the range of performance variability with hearing aids. Despite improvements in technology, there remain many instances of well-selected and appropriately fitted hearing aids whereby the user reports minimal improvement in speech understanding. This review presents a multistage framework for understanding how a hearing aid affects performance. Six stages are considered: (1) acoustic content of the signal, (2) modification of the signal by the hearing aid, (3) interaction between sound at the output of the hearing aid and the listener's ear, (4) integrity of the auditory system, (5) coding of available acoustic cues by the listener's auditory system, and (6) correct identification of the speech sound. Within this framework, this review describes methodology and research on 2 new assessment techniques: acoustic analysis of speech measured at the output of the hearing aid and auditory evoked potentials recorded while the listener wears hearing aids. Acoustic analysis topics include the relationship between conventional probe microphone tests and probe microphone measurements using speech, appropriate procedures for such tests, and assessment of signal-processing effects on speech acoustics and recognition. Auditory evoked potential topics include an overview of physiologic measures of speech processing and the effect of hearing loss and hearing aids on cortical auditory evoked potential measurements in response to speech. Finally, the clinical utility of these procedures is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-143
Number of pages25
JournalTrends in Amplification
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2006

Keywords

  • evoked potentials
  • hearing aids
  • probe microphone
  • speech hearing loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Speech and Hearing

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