Assistive Listening Devices Help Those with Impaired Hearing
by Monia Mitu, MD
A recent clinical trial has explored whether Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) can help to improve speech intelligibility in the hearing impaired.
ALDs are becoming popular nowadays among people with hearing and speech difficulties. ALDs augment the information coming from a hearing aid, inner ear implant, or other personal hearing devices. They establish connections to other devices like amplified telephones, hearing aid compatible phones, smartphones, television, and alerting devices. These devices are designed to make hearing easier and aid in communication for those using the hearing aid for a long time.
To prove its effectiveness a clinical trial was conducted on speech intelligibility in noise in people of different age groups. Ten participants 18 to 80 years of age were chosen with bilateral moderate to severe hearing loss.
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Two speech intelligibility tests were performed, one using the ALD plus a hearing aid, the other using only hearing aids.
Two types of hearing aids were used, the Rogers microphone and the Phonak Audeo which is an in-canal hearing aid.
The participants listened to 10 sentences played in noise and another 10 sentences played at a certain loudness level with background noise.
The results of the clinical trial showed that speech intelligibility is better with hearing aids plus the Rogers ALD, than with hearing aids alone, leading to the conclusion that people with hearing problems can improve their quality of life by using an Assistive Listening Device.
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