Preferred Insertion Gain of Hearing Aids in Listening and Reading-Aloud Situations Nine hearing-impaired subjects with primarily high-frequency hearing loss (Group A) and 8 hearing-impaired subjects with hearing loss in both the high- and low-frequency regions (Group B) participated in the experiment. Subjects wore binaural programmable multimemory hearing aids and selected the preferred amount of insertion gain while they listened to discourse ... Research Article
Research Article  |   September 01, 1990
Preferred Insertion Gain of Hearing Aids in Listening and Reading-Aloud Situations
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Francis K. Kuk
    The University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Requests for reprints should be sent to Francis K. Kuk, Ph.D., Dept. of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, The University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612.
  • Presently affilated with the University of Illinois at Chicago.
    Presently affilated with the University of Illinois at Chicago.×
Article Information
Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Research Articles
Research Article   |   September 01, 1990
Preferred Insertion Gain of Hearing Aids in Listening and Reading-Aloud Situations
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, September 1990, Vol. 33, 520-529. doi:10.1044/jshr.3303.520
History: Received October 30, 1989 , Accepted February 27, 1990
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, September 1990, Vol. 33, 520-529. doi:10.1044/jshr.3303.520
History: Received October 30, 1989; Accepted February 27, 1990

Nine hearing-impaired subjects with primarily high-frequency hearing loss (Group A) and 8 hearing-impaired subjects with hearing loss in both the high- and low-frequency regions (Group B) participated in the experiment. Subjects wore binaural programmable multimemory hearing aids and selected the preferred amount of insertion gain while they listened to discourse passages read by a male speaker (listen). Subjects also selected the preferred amount of gain while they listened to themselves as they were reading the same passages (read-aloud). Subjects’ word-recognition performances and their subjective impressions of the hearing aids determined in listen and read-aloud conditions were examined on subsequent listening and reading tasks. Hearing-impaired subjects preferred more insertion gain in the listen condition than in the read-aloud condition. Different insertion gains led to different objective and subjective performances. Hearing-aid responses selected for a particular condition (listening vs. reading aloud) yielded the best performance in that condition. Assuming the primary purpose of a hearing aid is for amplifying the speech of others, these findings suggest that one should not adjust the gain of a hearing aid using one’s own voice as the reference. In addition, one should be careful in soliciting subjective comments from hearing-impaired patients during hearing-aid fittings to avoid underamplifying those individuals in the low frequencies. Multimemory hearing aids may be necessary for some hearing-impaired patients to use their hearing aids satisfactorily in listening and speaking conditions.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This project was supported in part by Widex Hearing Aid Co., Inc. I wish to thank Robert Sandlin, Richard Tyler, and Peter Stubbing for their suggestions at various stages of this experiment. In addition, I am grateful to Donald Schum and an anonymous reviewer for their helpful comments.
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