The International Tinnitus Journal


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The International Tinnitus Journal

Official Journal of the Neurootological and Equilibriometric Society
Official Journal of the Brazil Federal District Otorhinolaryngologist Society

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ISSN: 0946-5448


Evaluation of the Effect of Frequency-Shifting Technique Used in Hearing Aids for Speech Discrimination

Author(s): Gokhan Palabiyik, Selim Unsal, Mehmet Gunduz

Background: To evaluate the effect of frequency-shifting techniques recently used in hearing aids for speech discrimination scores and hearing thresholds.

Methods: Thirty individuals (16 men and 14 women) with sensorineural hearing loss who used normal fitting monaural hearing aids and frequency-shifting feature for at least 2 months and whose 4000–8000 Hz hearing threshold was over 70 dB participated. The average age was 69.73 ± 10 (range: 65–80 years). We detected the types and degree of each participant’s hearing loss. Measurements with and without hearing aids were made in a free field. For speech discrimination scores, 6 listings consisting of 25 monosyllables have been used. It has been avoided to learn words thanks to presentation of words in different listings to subjects.

Results: Pure-tone averages of the participants were measured using a supra-aural headphone, normal fitting hearing aid, and frequency-shifting feature. The results were 55.93 ± 6.89, 40.47 ± 5.48, and 36.73 ± 5.72 dB, respectively (p?0.05). Speech discrimination scores for hearing aids worn on the right ear were measured as 67.73 ± 12.42%, 77.33 ± 10.33%, and 82.13 ± 10.46% with supra-aural headphones, normal fitting hearing aids, and frequency-shifting feature, respectively. Scores for hearing aids worn on the left ear were 68 ± 7.56%, 76.80 ± 6.96%, and 82.13 ± 6.67% with supra-aural headphone, normal fitting hearing aid, and frequency-shifting feature, respectively (p?0.05).

Conclusion: Elderly individuals using hearing aids had low speech discrimination scores. The frequency-shifting feature recently used in hearing aids significantly increased the scores, making a significant contribution to the solution of speech reception and communication problems in cases of high-frequency hearing loss caused by presbyacusis in elderly individuals.

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