Date of Award

Spring 2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Audiology (AuD)

Department

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Advisor(s)

Ayasakanta Rout

Dan C. Halling

Claire A. Jacobson

Abstract

Purpose: In this study participants rated self-perceived occlusion and physical comfort for receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) hearing aids with different sizes of standard domes. Perceived occlusion was rated across listening and own voice conditions. Method: Twenty-one older adults with hearing impairment were fitted with bilateral RITE hearing aids and tested with three dome size conditions: open, plus, and power domes, and one control condition: the participants' own aids. Participants ranked self-perceived occlusion across the dome size conditions as well as across listening and own voice conditions, and also ranked level of physical comfort across dome sizes. Results: Self-perceived occlusion increased as dome size increased, with the open domes and participants' own aids causing the least amount of occlusion. The own voice condition yielded the most significant results, although significance was found across the listening condition as well. Perceived physical comfort decreased as dome size increased. Conclusions: Self-perceived occlusion was greatest for the power domes, although average level of occlusion did not exceed moderate occlusion. Perceived physical comfort was highest with the open dome and participants' own aids. Plus and power domes were respectively ranked as more uncomfortable than the open domes, but overall were more comfortable than uncomfortable.

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