Masking Release in Children and Adults With Hearing Loss When Using Amplification Purpose This study compared masking release for adults and children with normal hearing and hearing loss. For the participants with hearing loss, masking release using simulated hearing aid amplification with 2 different compression speeds (slow, fast) was compared. Method Sentence recognition in unmodulated noise was compared with recognition ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2016
Masking Release in Children and Adults With Hearing Loss When Using Amplification
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Marc Brennan
    Hearing and Amplification Research Laboratory, Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, NE
  • Ryan McCreery
    Hearing and Amplification Research Laboratory, Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, NE
  • Judy Kopun
    Hearing and Amplification Research Laboratory, Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, NE
  • Dawna Lewis
    Hearing and Amplification Research Laboratory, Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, NE
  • Joshua Alexander
    Experimental Amplification Research Laboratory, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Patricia Stelmachowicz
    Hearing and Amplification Research Laboratory, Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, NE
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Marc Brennan: Marc.Brennan@boystown.org
  • Editor: Nancy Tye-Murray
    Editor: Nancy Tye-Murray×
  • Associate Editor: Todd Ricketts
    Associate Editor: Todd Ricketts×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Hearing Disorders / Audiologic / Aural Rehabilitation / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 2016
Masking Release in Children and Adults With Hearing Loss When Using Amplification
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2016, Vol. 59, 110-121. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-H-14-0105
History: Received April 14, 2014 , Revised September 29, 2014 , Accepted October 23, 2015
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2016, Vol. 59, 110-121. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-H-14-0105
History: Received April 14, 2014; Revised September 29, 2014; Accepted October 23, 2015

Purpose This study compared masking release for adults and children with normal hearing and hearing loss. For the participants with hearing loss, masking release using simulated hearing aid amplification with 2 different compression speeds (slow, fast) was compared.

Method Sentence recognition in unmodulated noise was compared with recognition in modulated noise (masking release). Recognition was measured for participants with hearing loss using individualized amplification via the hearing-aid simulator.

Results Adults with hearing loss showed greater masking release than the children with hearing loss. Average masking release was small (1 dB) and did not depend on hearing status. Masking release was comparable for slow and fast compression.

Conclusions The use of amplification in this study contrasts with previous studies that did not use amplification. The results suggest that when differences in audibility are reduced, participants with hearing loss may be able to take advantage of dips in the noise levels, similar to participants with normal hearing. Although children required a more favorable signal-to-noise ratio than adults for both unmodulated and modulated noise, masking release was not statistically different. However, the ability to detect a difference may have been limited by the small amount of masking release observed.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by National Institutes of Health Grants R01 DC04300 (awarded to Patricia Stelmachowicz), R01 DC013591 (awarded to Ryan McCreery), P30 DC4662 (awarded to Michael Gorga), T32 DC00013 (awarded to Doug Keefe), F32 DC012709 (awarded to Marc Brennan), R03 DC012635 (awarded to Ryan McCreery), P20 GM109023 (awarded to Marc Brennan), and RC1 DC010601 (sub-awarded to Joshua Alexander). The authors thank Alex Baker, Brianna Byllesby, Evan Cordrey, and Brenda Hoover for assistance with study design, data collection, and preparation of the figures and Kendra Schmid for assistance with the statistical analysis.
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