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Clinical and Experimental Otorhinolaryngology > Accepted Articles
doi: https://doi.org/10.21053/ceo.2020.02313    [Accepted]
Feasibility of Personal Sound Amplification Products in Patients with Moderate Hearing Loss: A Pilot Study
Ga-Young Kim1 , Jong Sei Kim2 , Mini Jo1 , Hye Yoon Seol1 , Young Sang Cho2 , Il Joon Moon2
1Hearing Research Laboratory, Samsung Medical Center, Seoul, Korea
2Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
Correspondence  Il Joon Moon ,Tel: +82-2-3410-0735, Fax: +82-2-3410-3879, Email: moon.iljoon@gmail.com
Received: November 25, 2020; Revised: January 26, 2021   Accepted: January 27, 2021.  Published online: January 29, 2021.
To confirm the feasibility of personal sound amplification products (PSAPs), the study was conducted for three purposes: 1) to investigate electroacoustic characteristics of PSAPs, 2) to identify whether PSAPs provide adequate gain and output for three common hearing loss configurations, and 3) to compare the benefit of one representative PSAP (RPSAP) to a conventional hearing aid (HA) based on clinical hearing outcomes as a pilot study.
The study consisted of three phases: electroacoustic analysis, simulated real-ear measurements (REMs), and clinical hearing experiments. Electroacoustic analysis and simulated REMs were performed in three basic (BeethoSOL, EarJJang, and Geniesori2) and three high-end PSAPs (Hearing Able, Olive Smart Ear, and SoriIn) using the Aurical Hearing Instrument Test box with a 2cc coupler. With regards to electroacoustic analysis, four electroacoustic characteristics (maximum output sound pressure level at 90 dB SPL, frequency range, equivalent input noise, and total harmonic distortion) were investigated. By simulated REMs, the appropriate level of the six PSAPs for three common hearing loss configurations (mild-to-moderate high-frequency hearing loss, moderate to moderately severe sloping hearing loss, and moderate flat hearing loss) was determined. Clinical experiments were carried out for the purpose of comparing the performance of RPSAP to HA. Before conducting clinical experiments, both RPSAP and HA were fitted by audiologists using REMs. Clinical experiments were administered using functional gain, a word recognition test, and the Korean version of the Hearing in Noise Test in six participants with bilateral moderate sensorineural hearing loss.
With regards to electroacoustic analysis, two high-end devices met all tolerances. In the case of simulated REMs, one basic and two high-end PSAPs showed appropriate level for three common hearing loss configurations. As for the clinical experiments, the RPSAP showed better performances than unaided, but slightly worse than HA under all test conditions.
Our results demonstrated that certain PSAPs met all specified tolerances for electroacoustic analysis and had ability to approximate prescriptive targets in a well-controlled laboratory condition. The pilot clinical experiments explored the possibility that RPSAP could be served as a hearing assistive device for patients with moderate hearing loss.
Keywords: Hearing Loss; Hearing Aids; Personal Sound Amplification Products; Electroacoustic Analysis; Real-Ear Measurements
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