Speech Audibility for Listeners With High-Frequency Hearing Loss This study investigated whether there are limitations on the benefit of providing audible speech information to listeners with high-frequency hearing loss. In a group of 10 listeners with various degrees of high-frequency hearing loss, speech recognition was tested across a wide range of presentation levels. For each of these listeners ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 1999
Speech Audibility for Listeners With High-Frequency Hearing Loss
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Christopher W. Turner
    Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Hearing Disorders / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 1999
Speech Audibility for Listeners With High-Frequency Hearing Loss
American Journal of Audiology, June 1999, Vol. 8, 47-56. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(1999/002)
History: Received December 19, 1997 , Accepted February 3, 1999
 
American Journal of Audiology, June 1999, Vol. 8, 47-56. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(1999/002)
History: Received December 19, 1997; Accepted February 3, 1999

This study investigated whether there are limitations on the benefit of providing audible speech information to listeners with high-frequency hearing loss. In a group of 10 listeners with various degrees of high-frequency hearing loss, speech recognition was tested across a wide range of presentation levels. For each of these listeners with hearing loss, recognition performance reached an asymptote of <100%. When the spectrum of the speech for this asymptotic performance level was compared with the listener's pure-tone thresholds, it was seen that providing audible speech to high-frequency regions (≥3000 Hz), where hearing loss exceeds 55 dB HL, tended to produce little or no improvement in recognition scores. In contrast, providing audible speech to lower frequency regions for a listener with a flat, severe-to-profound hearing loss did show improvement with increasing speech audibility, despite this listener's thresholds being greater than 55 dB HL. The present study adds further support to the idea that attempting to provide amplification to regions with severe high-frequency hearing loss (≥3000 Hz) may not necessarily benefit many individuals with hearing loss.

Acknowledgments
We thank Rebecca Waite and Aparna Desjures for their assistance on this project. Helpful comments on earlier versions of this manuscript were provided by Ruth Bentler, Carolyn Brown, Lenore Holte, Dianne Niebuhr, and Aaron Parkinson. This work was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant R01 DC 00377.
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