Hearing Loss, Speech, and Hearing Aids Modern hearing aids permit adjustment of a number of electroacoustic parameters, among them frequency response, saturation sound pressure level, and various aspects of compression. Relatively little is known, however, about how the electroacoustic characteristics of hearing aids affect the information-bearing properties of speech. Even less is known about how hearing ... Featured Article
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Featured Article  |   April 01, 1993
Hearing Loss, Speech, and Hearing Aids
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Dianne J. Van Tasell
    University of Minnesota Minneapolis
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Hearing / Featured Article
Featured Article   |   April 01, 1993
Hearing Loss, Speech, and Hearing Aids
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1993, Vol. 36, 228-244. doi:10.1044/jshr.3602.228
History: Received June 15, 1992 , Accepted November 2, 1992
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1993, Vol. 36, 228-244. doi:10.1044/jshr.3602.228
History: Received June 15, 1992; Accepted November 2, 1992

Modern hearing aids permit adjustment of a number of electroacoustic parameters, among them frequency response, saturation sound pressure level, and various aspects of compression. Relatively little is known, however, about how the electroacoustic characteristics of hearing aids affect the information-bearing properties of speech. Even less is known about how hearing aids might alleviate or exacerbate the effects of impaired hearing. This article reviews current knowledge in three areas: (a) characteristics of mild/moderate hearing loss, (b) informationbearing aspects of speech, and (c) the relation between electroacoustic characteristics of hearing aids and the speech signal. Concluding suggestions are made regarding the implications of the current data for selecting hearing-aid characteristics.

Acknowledgments
The author is indebted to T. Crain, D. Fabry, D. Greenfield, W. Olsen, J. Preminger, C. Speaks, and T. Trine for their reading of earlier versions of the manuscript, and to T. Crain and D. Greenfield for preparation of the figures. The insightful reviews provided by Larry Humes and two anonymous reviewers are greatly appreciated. The hospitality provided by colleagues and friends at the MRC Institute of Hearing Research in Nottingham, England, where most of the paper was written, is acknowledged with gratitude. This work was supported by NIDCD DC00110.
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