J Korean Med Sci.  2022 Mar;37(12):e94. 10.3346/jkms.2022.37.e94.

Hearing and Speech Perception for People With Hearing Loss Using Personal Sound Amplification Products

Affiliations
  • 1Hearing Research Laboratory, Samsung Medical Center, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Seoul, Korea
  • 4Medical Research Institute, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea
  • 5Center for Clinical Epidemiology, Samsung Medical Center, Seoul, Korea

Abstract

Background
Hearing loss (HL) is the most common chronic disease and has been linked to negative health outcomes. Hearing aids (HAs) are regarded as the gold standard for HL management, however, the adoption rate of HAs is relatively low for various reasons. With this background, hearing devices, such as personal sound amplification products (PSAPs) received significant attention as an alternative to conventional HAs. This study aimed to evaluate the clinical efficacy of PSAPs in patients with mild to moderately severe HL.
Methods
Nineteen patients with mild hearing loss (MHL), 23 with moderate hearing loss (MDHL), and 15 with moderately severe hearing loss (MSHL) participated in the study. Electroacoustic analysis, simulated real-ear measurements (REMs), and three clinical evaluations were implemented.
Results
All devices satisfied the electroacoustic tolerances. All devices provided sufficient gain for MHL and MDHL audiograms. However, in MSHL audiogram, the gains of PSAPs were insufficient, especially for high frequencies. In terms of clinical evaluations, soundfield audiometry showed significant improvements between aided and unaided thresholds in all groups for all devices (P < 0.001). Significant improvements of word recognition scores were only shown for HAs between aided and unaided conditions. The Korean version of the Hearing In Noise Test did not show any consistent findings for all devices and groups.
Conclusion
Certain PSAPs are beneficial for improving hearing and speech perception in patients with HL. Well-chosen PSAPs could be an alternative hearing rehabilitation option for these patients.

Keyword

Hearing Loss; Hearing Aids; Personal Sound Amplification Products; Wearable Electronic Devices
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