Blog Archives

Facial expression recognition: Can preschoolers with cochlear implants and hearing aids catch it?

Tager-Flusberg and Sullivan (2000) presented a cognitive model of theory of mind (ToM), in which they thought ToM included two components––a social–perceptual component and a social–cognitive component. Facial expression recognition (FER) is an ability tapping the social–perceptual component. Previous findings suggested that normal hearing children did not demonstrate any advantage over those with cochlear implants (CI) or hearing aids (HA) in FER with age and gender matched. In these studies, the ages of the participants with CI or HA were over 7 years old. However, normal hearing preschoolers can accurately recognize basic facial expressions. Children’s early FER skills are essential to later successful social interactions. It is not clear whether preschoolers with CI or HA have problems in FER. Two experiments were conducted to compare the FER of preschoolers with CI or HA with normal hearing children (with age matched). The results of both experiments consistently showed that normal hearing children performed significantly better than those with CI or HA, suggesting to some extent that there was a delay in preschoolers with CI or HA on FER. No significant correlations (with age and type of participants controlled) were found between language ability (measured by PPVT) and FER in Experiment 2, to some extent validating a cognitive model of ToM in another view. The findings suggested that earlier rehabilitation for children with CI or HA should include not only language treatment but also emotional intervention, which would help them catch up with normal hearings as soon as possible.

from Research in Developmental Disabilities

Correlation between the handicap and the benefit of hearing aid use in adults and elderly

CONCLUSION: Adult and elderly subjects showed a reduction of handicap in daily activities with the use of hearing aids. The bigger the benefit obtained in the subscale Ease of Communication for the elderly and in the subscale Background Noise for the adults, the greater the handicap reduction.

from Revista de Sociedade Brasileira de Fonoaudiologia

Satisfaction evaluation in users of hearing aid dispensed by the Unified Health System

CONCLUSION: In average, subjects were satisfied with their hearing aids dispensed by SUS. The Brazilian Portuguese version of the SADL proved to be an effective instrument to assess the level of satisfaction among the users of hearing aids dispensed by SUS evaluated in this study. Further research is necessary to complement these findings.

from Revista de Sociedade Brasileira de Fonoaudiologia

Soft tissue overgrowth in bone-anchored hearing aid patients: use of 8.5 mm abutment

Conclusion: The 8.5 mm bone-anchored hearing aid abutment is successful in preventing the need for additional surgical intervention in the small but significant number of patients with post-implantation soft tissue overgrowth. Early consideration should be given to this option when first-line soft tissue care is inadequate.

from the Journal of Laryngology and Otology

Late auditory evoked potentials in elderly long-term hearing-aid users with unilateral or bilateral fittings

This study investigated the effects of long-term unilateral and bilateral amplification on central auditory processing in elderly people with symmetrical hearing loss using late auditory evoked potentials. It was hypothesized that in the unilateral setting stimulation of the aided ear would yield an acclimatization effect with larger amplitudes and shorter latencies of the components P1, N1 and P2 compared to those of the unaided ear. Auditory evoked potentials were elicited by 500, 1000 and 2000 Hz pure tones at 55, 70 and 85 dB SPL presentation level delivered either to the left or right ear. Unilaterally and bilaterally fitted experienced hearing-aid users and a control group of normally hearing adults, all aged at least 60 years, participated. The responses of the unilateral hearing-aid users did not differ significantly for any of the components P1, N1 or P2 between the aided and unaided ears, but a significant interaction between ear and frequency was present for P2 amplitudes. P2 amplitudes were significantly smaller for the 0.5- and 1-kHz stimuli and tended to be larger for the 2-kHz stimulus in the aided ear suggesting an acclimatization effect. Larger P2 amplitudes were observed in the unilaterally fitted group, which was interpreted as a correlate of more effortful auditory processing in unilaterally fitted people.

from Hearing Research

Working Memory Supports Listening in Noise for Persons with Hearing Impairment


Working memory is a crucial factor in speech understanding in noise for persons with hearing impairment, irrespective of whether hearing is aided or unaided. Working memory supports speech understanding in noise under conditions of both “high degradation” and “low degradation.” A subcomponent view of working memory may contribute to our understanding of these phenomena. The effect of cognition on speech understanding in modulated noise with fast-acting compression may only pertain after a period of 4-9 wk of familiarization and that prior to such a period, persons with lower cognitive capacity may benefit more from slow-acting compression.

from the Journal of the American Academy of Audiology

Children with hearing impairment – Living with cochlear implants or hearing aids

Children with cochlear implants and children with hearing aids have, in some aspects, equally good functioning in everyday life situations. However, certain differences were found in dimensions of functioning, regarding neck and shoulder pain, usage of aids and sign language, and hearing problems in some activities.

from the International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology

Aided cortical auditory evoked potentials in response to changes in hearing aid gain

Objective: There is interest in using cortical auditory evoked potentials (CAEPs) to evaluate hearing aid fittings and experience-related plasticity associated with amplification; however, little is known about hearing aid signal processing effects on these responses. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of clinically relevant hearing aid gain settings, and the resulting in-the-canal signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs), on the latency and amplitude of P1, N1, and P2 waves. Design & Sample: Evoked potentials and in-the-canal acoustic measures were recorded in nine normal-hearing adults in unaided and aided conditions. In the aided condition, a 40-dB signal was delivered to a hearing aid programmed to provide four levels of gain (0, 10, 20, and 30 dB). As a control, unaided stimulus levels were matched to aided condition outputs (i.e. 40, 50, 60, and 70 dB) for comparison purposes. Results: When signal levels are defined in terms of output level, aided CAEPs were surprisingly smaller and delayed relative to unaided CAEPs, probably resulting from increases to noise levels caused by the hearing aid. Discussion: These results reinforce the notion that hearing aids modify stimulus characteristics such as SNR, which in turn affects the CAEP in a way that does not reliably reflect hearing aid gain.

from the International Journal of Audiology

Benefit from hearing aids in users with and without tinnitus

A total of 85 hearing aid users (mean age 67.4 years) participated, and of those 61% (52/85) reported tinnitus. Tinnitus patients reported more problems on the APHAB subscales Background Noise without a hearing aid, aversiveness with hearing aid, and less benefit from the hearing aid in aversive situations. Tinnitus distress was associated with less benefit on the APHAB subscales dealing with the aversiveness of sound and hearing in background noise. Conclusion: Tinnitus patients with hearing aids report slightly less benefit and more problems with their hearing aids, in particular in relation to background sounds and aversiveness of sounds.

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from Audiological Medicine

Acoustic Cues for Consonant Perception with Combined Acoustic and Electric Hearing in Children

Many children who use a cochlear implant in one ear have usable residual hearing in the opposite ear. There is consensus that bilateral stimulation should be provided to these children by fitting a hearing aid in the nonimplanted ear. The combination of acoustic amplification via a hearing aid with electrical stimulation via a cochlear implant is commonly referred to as “bimodal hearing.” This article examines speech perceptual benefits associated with the use of bimodal hearing in children. First, a brief description of the acoustic basis for phonetic contrasts is provided. Second, information on children’s consonant perception and information transmission via the use of cochlear implants with or without hearing aids is presented. Finally, a summary of fitting strategies is presented with validation results. These results support the optimization of a hearing aid with a cochlear implant for children.

from Seminars in Hearing

Hearing Aids in the Real World: Typical Automatic Behavior of Expansion, Directionality, and Noise Management

The purpose of this study was to determine the typical behavior of three automatic DSP hearing aid features—expansion, directionality, and noise management—in daily life.

from the Journal of the American Academy of Audiology

Evaluation of Nonlinear Frequency Compression for School-Age Children with Moderate to Moderately Severe Hearing Loss


These results indicate that NLFC improves audibility for and recognition of high-frequency speech sounds for children with moderate to moderately severe hearing loss in quiet listening situations.

from the Journal of the American Academy of Audiology

Use of Hearing Aids and Assistive Listening Devices in an Older Australian Population


These results indicate that hearing aid ownership and ALD usage remains low in the older population. Given the significant proportion of older people who self-report and have a measured hearing loss, it is possible that more could be helped through the increased use of hearing aid and/or ALD technology. Greater efforts are needed to promote the benefits of these technologies and to support their use among older people with hearing loss.

from the Journal of the American Academy of Audiology

A comparison of the speech recognition and pitch ranking abilities of children using a unilateral cochlear implant, bimodal stimulation or bilateral hearing aids

Contrary to findings in postlingually deafened adults, we found no significant bimodal advantage for pitch perception in prelingually deafened children. However, the performance of children using electrical stimulation was significantly poorer than children using only acoustic stimulation. Further research is required to investigate the contribution of the non-implanted ears of users of BMS to pitch perception, and the effect of hearing loss on the development of pitch perception in children.

from the International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology

Own voice qualities (OVQ) in hearing-aid users: There is more than just occlusion

Objective. Hearing-aid users’ problems with their own voice caused by occlusion are well known. Conversely, it remains essentially undocumented whether hearing-aid users expected not to have occlusion-related problems experience own-voice issues. Design. To investigate this topic, a dedicated Own Voice Qualities (OVQ) questionnaire was developed and used in two experiments with stratified samples. Study sample. In the main experiment, the OVQ was administered to 169 hearing-aid users (most of whom were expected not to have occlusion-related problems) and to a control group of 56 normally-hearing people. In the follow-up experiment, the OVQ was used in a cross-over study where 43 hearing-aid users rated own voice for an open fitting and a small-vent earmould fitting. Results. The results from the main experiment show that hearing-aid users (without occlusion) have more problems than the normal-hearing controls on several dimensions of own voice. The magnitude of these differences was found to be generally larger than the differences observed between the open fitting and the small-vent fitting in the follow-up experiment. Conclusions. This suggests that own voice is a potentially important concern, even for hearing-aid users who are not expected to have occlusion-related problems.

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