Improved Testing Technique for High-Frequency Hearing Aid Fitting

In the majority of instances, hearing loss occurs as a slow degeneration of your auditory abilities over many years. The progressive nature of the condition can make it hard to identify, but one of the early signs of hearing loss is difficulty hearing high frequencies. Sometimes referred to as “partial deafness,” the affected are often able to hear low to mid frequencies, but struggle with higher frequencies, such as the voices of women and children. Though this condition is common, testing methods for high-frequency hearing aids are due for improvements. Fortunately, a group of European researchers have developed a promising new testing process.

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The new testing method, called a Phoneme Perception Test (PPT), has been created to measure the perception of specific phonemes “s” and “sh.” A phoneme is described as a distinguishing unit of sound used to differentiate words. This newly-created test has been developed to measure if there is a difference in the recognition of specific phonemes for various hearing aid settings.

The study used two different sets of stimulus materials to determine how the phoneme was perceived. The first set, (LF) preserved low-level sounds in the low- to mid-frequency range; the second set (nLF) limited the audibility to high-frequency sounds.

The study confirmed that there was a marked difference in sound perception between the two sets of stimulus materials. This indicates that detection and recognition thresholds were better measured in high frequencies using the nFL set. Furthermore, both sets should be used to be effective with hearing aid fitting for high-frequency hearing loss.

Through the use of PPT, individuals with a hearing impairment will experience improved audibility and recognition for high-frequency sounds, which will result in greater auditory rehabilitation for the patient.

If you’re looking to treat a hearing loss in Thousand Oaks, our team can help. As experts in the industry of hearing health, our audiologists provide highly-specialized auditory services, including comprehensive hearing evaluations, personalized hearing loss treatments and hearing aid repair. Learn more about our clinic today by calling 805.449.2380.

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