Research Article  |   December 2011
Ear Asymmetries and Asymmetric Directional Microphone Hearing Aid Fittings
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Mary T. Cord
    Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC
  • Rauna K. Surr
    Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC
  • Brian E. Walden
    Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC
  • Andrew B. Dittberner
    GN ReSound Group, Chicago, IL
  • Correspondence to Mary T. Cord: mary.cord@med.navy.mil
  • Editor: Sheila Pratt
    Editor: Sheila PrattƗ
  • Associate Editor: Gabrielle Saunders
    Associate Editor: Gabrielle SaundersƗ
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Research Article
Research Article   |   December 2011
Ear Asymmetries and Asymmetric Directional Microphone Hearing Aid Fittings
American Journal of Audiology, December 2011, Vol. 20, 111-122. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2011/10-0035)
History: Received September 2, 2010 , Revised January 25, 2011 , Accepted May 17, 2011
 
American Journal of Audiology, December 2011, Vol. 20, 111-122. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2011/10-0035)
History: Received September 2, 2010; Revised January 25, 2011; Accepted May 17, 2011
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

Purpose: To determine whether an asymmetry between ears for speech understanding in noise was related to performance with, or preference for, 1 of 2 asymmetric microphone fittings in which omnidirectional processing was provided to 1 ear and directional processing to the other.

Method: Twenty-eight adults with symmetric sensorineural hearing impairment were recruited from the clinic population. Sixteen individuals had symmetric hearing-in-noise ability between their right and left ears, and 12 participants had an asymmetry for speech understanding in noise between ears. A repeated measures design was used. Interactions between various microphone fittings and speech signal locations in noise were assessed in the laboratory. In addition, the listeners with asymmetry between ears for hearing in noise completed a field trial comparing the 2 fittings in everyday listening situations.

Results: Laboratory testing resulted in different patterns of performance for the 2 groups. Field trial results revealed that participants generally noticed little difference between the 2 fittings in everyday life and did not express a strong preference for 1 fitting over the other.

Conclusion: An asymmetry between ears for speech understanding in noise did not result in preference for 1 asymmetric fitting over the other in everyday listening situations.

Acknowledgments
This work was sponsored by GN ReSound Hearing Care, Chicago, IL, through a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the Clinical Investigation Regulatory Office, U.S. Army Medical Department, Fort Sam Houston, TX. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, the U.S. government, or GN ReSound. We certify that all individuals who qualify as authors have been listed; each has participated in the conception and design of this work, the analysis of data, the writing of the document, and the approval of the submission of this version; that the document represents valid work; that if we used information derived from another source, we obtained all necessary approvals to use it and made appropriate acknowledgements in the document; and that each takes public responsibility for it. Nothing in the article implies any endorsement by the federal government, the Department of Defense, or the Department of the Army. We acknowledge that Research Protocol No. 0525023, ā€œImplications of SNR Hearing Loss for Asymmetric Hearing Aid Microphone Fittings,ā€ received applicable Walter Reed Army Medical Center institutional review board review and approval.
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