The goal of this study was to investigate whether frequency compression (FC) hearing aids provide more benefit than conventional hearing aids. Twelve experienced hearing aid users 65-84 years of age with moderate to severe high frequency hearing loss wore the same hearing aid for six weeks in two conditions- FC enabled and FC disabled. Data from speech recognition in quiet and noise and two questionnaires was gathered. The authors reported that FC results were significantly higher in all of the administered speech tests and high frequency phoneme perception improved over time with the FC; however, subjective perception of benefit from the questionnaires failed to show a significant change. This is an important study as many individuals have high frequency hearing loss with consequent difficulty understanding speech. This study, however, has multiple deficiencies that limited the applicability of the data. The small sample size is further complicated by the heterogeneity of hearing loss in the subjects. There was no mention of the ear coupler-earmold configuration and no testing to explore for cochlear dead regions. With this sample population, cognitive ability was another variable that was not tested. This report was interesting but presented too many methodological errors to be of benefit in addressing the real question regarding superior benefit from FC.

Benefit from, and acclimatisation to, frequency compression hearing aids in experienced adult hearing-aid users.
Ellis RJ, Munro KJ.
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Richard Navarro

Grapevine, USA.

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