The Effects of High-Frequency Amplification on the Objective and Subjective Performance of Hearing Instrument Users With Varying Degrees of High-Frequency Hearing Loss Purpose The purpose of the present study was to determine if amplifying beyond 2 kHz affected the objective and subjective performance of hearing instrument users with varying degrees of mild-to-severe high-frequency sensorineural hearing loss. Method Twenty participants were fitted binaurally with digital completely-in-the-canal devices with 4-channel wide dynamic ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 2006
The Effects of High-Frequency Amplification on the Objective and Subjective Performance of Hearing Instrument Users With Varying Degrees of High-Frequency Hearing Loss
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Patrick N. Plyler
    University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Erica L. Fleck
    Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge
  • Contact author: Patrick N. Plyler, Department of Audiology & Speech Pathology, University of Tennessee, 578 South Stadium Hall, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996-0740. Email: pplyler@utk.edu
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Hearing Disorders / Audiologic / Aural Rehabilitation / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 2006
The Effects of High-Frequency Amplification on the Objective and Subjective Performance of Hearing Instrument Users With Varying Degrees of High-Frequency Hearing Loss
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2006, Vol. 49, 616-627. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/044)
History: Received May 17, 2005 , Accepted September 28, 2005
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2006, Vol. 49, 616-627. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/044)
History: Received May 17, 2005; Accepted September 28, 2005
Web of Science® Times Cited: 17

Purpose The purpose of the present study was to determine if amplifying beyond 2 kHz affected the objective and subjective performance of hearing instrument users with varying degrees of mild-to-severe high-frequency sensorineural hearing loss.

Method Twenty participants were fitted binaurally with digital completely-in-the-canal devices with 4-channel wide dynamic range compression (Starkey Axent). Each participant used the hearing instruments for two 6-week trial periods. Each hearing instrument was programmed to maximize high-frequency audibility during 1 trial period and minimize high-frequency audibility during the other trial period. Objective evaluations were conducted in quiet using the Connected Speech Test (CST) and in noise using the CST and the Hearing in Noise Test. Subjective performance was evaluated by administering the Abbreviated Profile of Hearing Aid Benefit and a questionnaire.

Results Results indicated that high-frequency amplification significantly improved objective performance in noise and subjective preference in quiet for listeners with varying degrees of mild-to-severe high-frequency hearing loss. Results also suggested that high-frequency amplification may affect subjective preference in noise and overall for listeners with varying degrees of mild-to-severe high-frequency hearing loss when feedback is eliminated.

Conclusion Based on these significant benefits, dispensers should be aware that high-frequency amplification should, at least initially, be provided to the affected high-frequency regions when mild-to-severe hearing loss is present.

Acknowledgments
Portions of this research were presented as a poster session at the American Academy of Audiology National Convention, Salt Lake City, UT, 2004. We would like to acknowledge the support of Starkey Laboratories for providing the hearing instruments used in the current study. We also appreciate the helpful comments of Benjamin W. Y. Hornsby.
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