Tag Archives: jason galster

On the Topic of Hearing Loss and Fatigue

In 2013, we reviewed an article from Dr. Ben Hornsby in which he reported on an initial foray into the fatiguing effects of listening to speech while managing a cognitively challenging secondary task (read here). The outcomes of his investigation suggested that use of hearing aids may reduce fatiguing effects of completing that secondary task. In more recent work, Drs Hornsby and Kipp assessed utility of standardized measures of fatigue among a large group of subjects with hearing loss.

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Hornsby, B. & Kipp, A. (2016). Subjective ratings of fatigue and vigor in adults with hearing loss are driven by perceived hearing difficulties not degree of hearing loss. Ear and Hearing 37 (1), 1-10.

Hearing Aid Use Decreases Perceived Loneliness

Since the early 80s, we’ve understood that self-reported hearing loss is highly correlated with feelings of loneliness and inferiority, reduced interest in leisure activities and withdrawal from others. Researchers have only recently started focused investigation toward the influence of hearing aid use on subjective perception of loneliness. In this blog, we review the work of Weinstein and colleagues, who found significant loneliness reduction among a group of new hearing aid wearers.

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Weinstein, B., Sirow, L. & Moser, S. (2016).  Relating hearing aid use to social and emotional loneliness in older adults. American Journal of Audiology 25, 54-61.

CONSIDERATIONS FOR MUSIC PROCESSING THROUGH HEARING AIDS

While speech is arguably the most important sound that listeners encounter on a daily basis, the perception of other sounds should be taken into consideration, including music. In this study, Arehart and her colleagues examined the effect of a variety of signal processing conditions on music quality ratings for normal-hearing and hearing-impaired individuals.

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Arehart, K., Kates, J. & Anderson, M. (2011) Effects of Noise, Nonlinear Processing and Linear Filtering on Perceived Music Quality, International Journal of Audiology, 50(3), 177-190.

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.

Does hearing aid use slow cognitive decline?

Prolonged, untreated hearing loss has been linked to increased social isolation, decreased brain volume, and range of subjective and objective declines in cognitive abilities. Hearing aids have been shown to beneficially affect some of these traits but a great deal of unknown details remain. A number of active studies aim to answer the question “does hearing aid use slow cognitive decline?”. The work of Deal and colleagues is a valuable step toward finding that answer.

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Deal, J., Sharrett, A., Albert, M., Coresh, J., Mosley, T., Knopman, D., Wruck, L. & Lin, F. (2015). Hearing impairment and cognitive decline: A pilot study conducted within the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Neurocognitive Study. American Journal of Epidemiology 181 (9), 680-690.

Listening is more effortful for new hearing aid wearers

Recent work out of Linkoping, Sweden suggests that new hearing aid wearers experience greater cognitive demands when listening. Over time they adapt to better resolve new auditory cues, decreasing the effort required for listening.

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

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Hearing Aid Use is Becoming More Accepted

On this month’s blog we review one of last year’s top 5 research articles. Rauterkus and Palmer (2014) asked people to rate characteristics of people wearing a variety of ear-level devices, some of which were hearing aids. Ratings taken today, as compared to those collected decades ago suggest that hearing aid use is carrying less social stigma than it once did.

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Rauterkus, E. & Palmer, C. (2014). The hearing aid effect in 2013. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology 25, 893-903.

Can changing hearing aid settings improve working memory?

This month we review a recent study from Souza and Sirow that assessed working memory with several clinically fit hearing aids. The results suggest that aspects of cognitive status may play a role in how patients respond to different hearing aids settings.

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Considerations for Music Listening

This month’s blog reviews a newly published article from Crogan and colleagues*. The authors discussed a project investigating the quality of music perception through hearing aids. Various factors related to the patient and hearing aid signal processing were found to be meaningful. We offer clinical advice relative to optimizing a music listening memory for patients that present themselves as music aficionados.

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*Croghan, N., Arehart, K. & Kates, J.  (2014). Music preferences with hearing aids: effects of signal properties, compression settings and listener characteristics. Ear & Hearing, in press.

Preferred aided listening levels for music in the sound field

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The research involving music listening through hearing aids is limited. Existing reports generally focus on the electroacoustic limitations of modern hearing aids and perception of sound quality with a variety of hearing aid processing schemes. In the present study, we documented participants’ preferred aided listening levels (PLLs) for music presented in the sound field. Download the poster to learn more.