Tag Archives: hearing research

Modern Remote Microphones Greatly Improve Speech Understanding in Noise

In this study, we evaluated four wireless remote microphones that each use a different wireless audio transmission protocol. Results were equivalent across the four systems, indicating that these remote microphones offer similar benefits to those associated with FM remote microphones.

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Rodemerk, K. & Galster, J. (2015).  The benefit of remote microphones using four wireless protocols. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 1-8.

Top 5 Hearing Aid Research Publications from 2014!

top5_2014

Over the last year, we were presented with audiology research that spanned topics related to engineering, clinical expectations, and statistical exercises for predictive or retrospective analyses. This selection of articles is representative of that diversity, highlighting articles that present new models for speech quality, describing third-party perception of hearing aid use, and several that peel away layers obscuring the complexity of adapting to new hearing aid use.

1. The Hearing Aid Effect in 2013

Hearing aid use carries stigma: this is a fact that all people with hearing loss, researchers, and audiologists understand. It’s safe to say that there is a generalized assumption that the adoption of body-worn technology will eventually erode the stigmatizing effect of hearing aid use. During this study, adults were asked to rate their perception of a person wearing several styles of ear-level devices, including hearing aids, earphones, and a Bluetooth headset. While the observed differences could be considered moderate, there were no perceived differences between a person wearing hearing aids and those not wearing hearing aids. The authors propose that this observation indicates a more positive perception of hearing aid use, as compared to earlier studies.

Rauterkus, E., & Palmer, C. (2014). The Hearing Aid Effect in 2013. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 25, 893-903.

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2. Dynamic relation between working memory capacity and speech recognition in noise during the first 6 months of hearing aid use

Attempting to clearly interpret past research in the area of adaptation to new hearing aids is a complex proposition. Some studies offer conflicting results, even questioning the nature of the adaptation effect. This is one of several studies in recent years that have looked at measures of cognition as they relate to new hearing aid use. The authors find that working memory demands (a form of functional short-term memory) changed over 6-months. The implications of these observations are increased cognitive demands at the time of the first hearing aid fitting, as patients work to interpret newly audible cues.

Ng, E., Classon, E., Birgitta, L., Arlinger, S., Lunner, T., Rudner, M., & Ronnberg, J. (2014). Dynamic relation between working memory capacity and speech recognition in noise during the first 6 months of hearing aid use. Trends in Hearing, 18, 1-10.

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3. Factors associated with success with hearing aids in older adults

This large-scale assessment tracked the outcomes of patients through a battery of 16 measurements, both subjective and objective. A number of valuable clinical factors were identified as linking to hearing aid success. Three of these factors stand out as providing excellent clinical insight. Firstly, the role of a supportive spouse is extremely important; secondly, the patient must be able to confidently manipulate the hearing aids themselves; finally, patients fit with hearing aids at prescriptively appropriate gains are more successful than those who are fit far below the prescription. Some of these observations have been made in previous studies but this one is the first to succinctly report them with modern hearing aids.

Hickson, L., Meyer, C., Lovelock, K., Lampert, M., & Khan, A. (2014). Factors associated with success with hearing aids in older adults. International Journal of Audiology, 53, S18-S27.

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4. The Hearing-Aid Speech Quality Index (HASQI) Version 2

The optimization and verification of hearing aid signal processing algorithms is greatly eased by our ability to model (or predict) a person’s perception of changes in the processed sound. The HASQI is a tool that allows for the prediction of changes in sound quality though the comparison of two recordings, one unprocessed sample that is used as a reference and a second processed sample. This recent revision to the original HASQI works well to overcome some limitations of the first iteration.

Kates, J., & Arehart, K. (2014) The Hearing-Aid Speech Quality Index (HASQI) Version 2. Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, 62(3), 99-117.

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 5. A 3-pack on the acclimatization conundrum

This package of three articles is being presented as one (on the list). Individually, each offers a small but meaningful insight into the topic of adapting to new hearing aid use. As all three were published from the same lab during 2014, they offer a collective series of insights that will impact all future work in this area. In brief, the investigators sought to document acclimatization effects through several metrics, including a round of focus group interviews. Their objective observations showed mild effects of experience with hearing aids, while the focus group interviews reinforce expectations that adjusting to hearing aids is an experience that extends beyond the perception of amplified sound alone.

Dawes, P., Maslin, M., & Munro, K. (2014). ‘Getting used to’ hearing aids from the perspective of adult hearing-aid users. International Journal of Audiology, 53, 861-870.

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Dawes, P., Munro, K., Kalluri, S., & Edwards, B. (2014). Auditory acclimatization and hearing aids: Late auditory evoked potentials and speech recognition following unilateral and bilateral amplification. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 135(6), 3560-3569.

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Dawes, P., Munro, K., Kalluri, S., & Edwards, B. (2014). Acclimatization to Hearing Aids. Ear and Hearing, 32(2), 203-212.

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You’re getting older. Are your listening demands decreasing? Is your social network shrinking?

There’s a common assumption, one supported by past research, that older people with hearing loss will have a smaller social network and demonstrate a tendency to avoid difficult listening situations. Drs. Wu and Bentler used a combination of questionnaires and sound level measurements to understand the differences in some social patterns between younger and older people with hearing loss. This month’s post reviews their work.

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Top 5 Articles of 2012!

2012 was an impressive year for scientific publication in audiology research and hearing aids. Narrowing the selection to 15 or 20 articles was much easier than selecting 5 articles from that respectable ensemble. After some thought and discussion with several colleagues, here are the top 5 articles published in 2012!

Top 5 of 2012 Continue reading

A quick summary on the benefits of bilateral hearing aid use

Here’s a quick summary on the benefits of bilateral hearing aid use. This is the last in the series on bilateral vs. unilateral hearing aids. The next series will focus on outcome measures, ranging from tried and true with the SSQ to new and spry with the TFI.

October Blog

Mencher, G.T. & Davis, A. (2006). Bilateral of unilateral amplification: is there a difference? A brief tutorial.International Journal of Audiology 45 (S1), S3-11.

Do Patients with Severe Hearing Loss Benefit from Directional Microphones?

This update concludes the series on patient outcomes with severe hearing loss. The reviewed article discusses outcomes with directional microphones as well as the value of audio-visual cues.

http://blog.starkeypro.com/bid/78684/Do-Patients-with-Severe-Hearing-Loss-Benefit-from-Directional-Microphones

Ricketts, T.A., & Hornsby, B.W.Y. (2006). Directional hearing aid benefit in listeners with severe hearing loss. International Journal of Audiology, 45, 190-197.

Understanding the NAL-NL2

This post describes the NAL-NL2 prescriptive formula. Included are differences between the NAL-NL1 and NAL-NL2.

http://blog.starkeypro.com/bid/75435/Understanding-the-NAL-NL2

Keidser, G., Dillon, H., Flax, M., Ching, T. & Brewer, S. (2011). The NAL-NL2 prescription procedure. Audiology Research 1 (e24), 88-90.

Spectral Envelope Warping (SEW): Spectral iQ

AudiologyOnline.com has posted a summary of Spectral iQ. A means for replicated high-frequency speech cues at lower frequencies; a process called spectral envelope warping (SEW).

http://www.audiologyonline.com/articles/article_detail.asp?article_id=2420

What motivates hearing aid use?

In this update Dr. Stevens and I discuss a recent meta review from Jenstad and Moon. The authors sift through the available literature analyzing factors that contribute to purchase and use of hearing aids. The most relevant articles provide valuable insight into the decision making and needs of patients seeking treatment for hearing loss.

http://blog.starkeypro.com/bid/74326/What-motivates-hearing-aid-use

Jenstad, L. & Moon, J. (2011). Systematic review of barriers and facilitators to hearing aid uptake in older adults. Audiology Research 1:e25, 91-96.

Differences Between Directional Benefit in the Lab and Real-World

Many audiologists notice that the benefits that patients’ field experience with directional microphones differs from controlled test environments, particularly laboratory environments. In this 2004 article Cord and colleagues provide some insight into these differences that are observed in the lab and real-world.

http://blog.starkeypro.com/bid/71668/Differences-Between-Directional-Benefit-in-the-Lab-and-Real-World

Cord, M., Surr, R., Walden, B. & Dyrlund, O. (2004). Relationship between laboratory measures of directional advantage and everyday success with directional microphone hearing aids.Journal of the American Academy of Audiology 15, 353-364.