Hearing Matters Podcast

People with Normal Hearing Sensitivity Yet Hearing Difficulty and/or Speech-in-Noise Problems

February 17, 2020 Season 1 Episode 5
Hearing Matters Podcast
People with Normal Hearing Sensitivity Yet Hearing Difficulty and/or Speech-in-Noise Problems
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Hearing Matters Podcast
People with Normal Hearing Sensitivity Yet Hearing Difficulty and/or Speech-in-Noise Problems
Feb 17, 2020 Season 1 Episode 5
Hearing Matters

"Approximately 38 million people in the United States have hearing loss.The inability to understand speech-in-noise (SIN) is one of the main complaints of people with untreated sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL), as well as many people who wear traditional hearing aids. It is also estimated that an additional 26 million American adults possess hearing thresholds within the range of normal limits (WNL), but they, too, complain of hearing difficulty (HD) and SIN problems, as will be reviewed below.

These additional 26 million adults with HD and/or SIN problems (ie, suprathreshold auditory deficits) often report experiencing a reduced quality of life (QOL) due to their auditory problems. When these individuals seek help from audiologists, they are often informed that their hearing thresholds are WNL and are subsequently counseled about advantages that can be derived from better lighting, use of visual redundancy, sitting closer to the person speaking, and other advice given to persons with hearing loss in traditional auditory rehabilitation programs. However, it is likely that many of these individuals are not being tested thoroughly or that traditional audiometric tests are not sensitive enough to determine their actual SIN ability. It is also likely that these people are not being informed of commercially available tools that could improve the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), and, thus, address their listening and communication needs and potentially lead to positive benefits. Indeed, Tremblay and colleagues asked why people with normal hearing sensitivity (ie, pure-tone thresholds WNLs) still complain of HDs and/or trouble understanding SIN.

The article below reviews published benefits that are associated with improving the SNR for some adults and children who present with hearing sensitivity and thresholds which are generally accepted as within normal limits (WNL) but have HD and/or trouble understanding SIN. We also review and speculate on benefits that some people receive from enhanced SNRs which are delivered through sophisticated hearing aids and remote microphone (RM) systems, and technologies that can be wirelessly coupled to personal hearing aids and other devices."

Show Notes

"Approximately 38 million people in the United States have hearing loss.The inability to understand speech-in-noise (SIN) is one of the main complaints of people with untreated sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL), as well as many people who wear traditional hearing aids. It is also estimated that an additional 26 million American adults possess hearing thresholds within the range of normal limits (WNL), but they, too, complain of hearing difficulty (HD) and SIN problems, as will be reviewed below.

These additional 26 million adults with HD and/or SIN problems (ie, suprathreshold auditory deficits) often report experiencing a reduced quality of life (QOL) due to their auditory problems. When these individuals seek help from audiologists, they are often informed that their hearing thresholds are WNL and are subsequently counseled about advantages that can be derived from better lighting, use of visual redundancy, sitting closer to the person speaking, and other advice given to persons with hearing loss in traditional auditory rehabilitation programs. However, it is likely that many of these individuals are not being tested thoroughly or that traditional audiometric tests are not sensitive enough to determine their actual SIN ability. It is also likely that these people are not being informed of commercially available tools that could improve the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), and, thus, address their listening and communication needs and potentially lead to positive benefits. Indeed, Tremblay and colleagues asked why people with normal hearing sensitivity (ie, pure-tone thresholds WNLs) still complain of HDs and/or trouble understanding SIN.

The article below reviews published benefits that are associated with improving the SNR for some adults and children who present with hearing sensitivity and thresholds which are generally accepted as within normal limits (WNL) but have HD and/or trouble understanding SIN. We also review and speculate on benefits that some people receive from enhanced SNRs which are delivered through sophisticated hearing aids and remote microphone (RM) systems, and technologies that can be wirelessly coupled to personal hearing aids and other devices."

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