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Journal of Basic and Clinical Physiology and Pharmacology

Editor-in-Chief: Horowitz, Michal

Editorial Board: Das, Kusal K. / Epstein, Yoram / S. Gershon MD, Elliot / Haim, Abraham / Kodesh , Einat / Kohen, Ron / Lichtstein, David / Maloyan, Alina / Mechoulam, Raphael / Roth, Joachim / Schneider, Suzanne / Shohami, Esther / Sohmer, Haim / Yoshikawa, Toshikazu

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CiteScore 2016: 1.01

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.349
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2191-0286
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Volume 25, Issue 3

Issues

How difficult is difficult? Speech perception in noise in the elderly hearing impaired

Limor Lavie
  • Corresponding author
  • Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel
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/ Karen Banai
  • Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel
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  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Joseph Attias
  • Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel
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  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Avi Karni
  • The Sagol Department of Neurobiology and Ethology and the EJ Safra Brain Research Center, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel
  • Other articles by this author:
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Published Online: 2014-08-05 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jbcpp-2014-0025

Abstract

Background: Perception of speech in the presence of competing multitalker noise is difficult for most individuals with sensory hearing loss, and in particular, for the elderly hearing impaired. Elderly people frequently report that these difficulties are poorly compensated for by hearing aids, albeit the algorithms and technologies aiming to improve speech perception in noise. The aim of the current study was therefore to assess competing speech signals processing by measuring the amount of signal to noise ratio (SNR) loss experienced by elderly hearing impaired individuals and their performance in dichotic listening tests.

Methods: Speech in multitalker babble noise and dichotic listening were assessed in older hearing impaired individuals and in young normal-hearing adults.

Results: The average dichotic scores in the elderly group were substantially and significantly lower compared with the scores of the younger group with a significant right ear advantage (higher accuracy in reporting words arriving at the right ear than words arriving at the left ear) in the elderly group. Speech identification in noise in the older group was significantly poorer than in the younger group (SNR loss: 10 dB).

Conclusions: The poor performance in the elderly hearing impaired group highlights the difficulties faced by hearing impaired older adults in demanding listening environments. Our results suggest that it may be unreasonable to expect that elderly hearing impaired individuals may fully understand speech in multitalker environments even when hearing aids are used.

Keywords: dicotic listening; elderly; hearing impaired; SNR loss; speech perception in noise

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About the article

Corresponding author: Limor Lavie, Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Haifa, 199 Aba Khoushy Avenue, Mount Carmel, Haifa 3498838, Israel, E-mail:


Received: 2014-03-10

Accepted: 2014-06-30

Published Online: 2014-08-05

Published in Print: 2014-09-01


Citation Information: Journal of Basic and Clinical Physiology and Pharmacology, Volume 25, Issue 3, Pages 313–316, ISSN (Online) 2191-0286, ISSN (Print) 0792-6855, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jbcpp-2014-0025.

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