Date of Award

Spring 2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Audiology (AuD)

Department

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Advisor(s)

Ayasakanta Rout

Dan C. Halling

Lincoln C. Gray

Abstract

Wind noise is problematic for hearing aid users who enjoy outdoor activities. Not only is it annoying, it can create distortion by overloading the microphone and masking signals that hearing aid users desire to hear. Some hearing aid manufacturers offer wind noise reduction in addition to general noise reduction (WNR + NR) for clinicians to manipulate in their software. This study compares objective and subjective measures of wind noise reduction as well as subjective measure of intelligibility obtained using various hearing aid manufacturers and noise reduction settings while HINT sentences were played in the presence of constantly generated wind. Significant differences in the subjective and objective amount of noise present and perceived speech intelligibility was found both between manufacturers and between noise reduction settings for each manufacturer. Subjectively, intelligibility and noisiness were positively correlated (r=0.74, p>.001); conditions that were perceived to be the most intelligible were the same conditions that were perceived to be the noisiest. The perception of intelligibility and noisiness depended on the interaction of hearing aid manufacturer and noise reduction setting (p.001) of sentences; as the amount of gain reduction decreased, the perceived noisiness increased. In this study, the amount of noise perceived to be present and the intelligibility of speech depended on both hearing aid manufacturer and how noise reduction was programmed. The perception of noisiness and intelligibility were positively correlated, suggesting that when more gain reduction was applied sentences became less intelligible. Interestingly, for hearing aid manufacturers with NR only the perceived noisiness and intelligibility of sentences both increased when less noise reduction was applied. The results of this study have clinical implications for programming noise reduction settings in hearing aids when both wind and speech are present.

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.