Use of a mild-gain hearing aid by middleage normal-hearing adults who do and do not self-report trouble hearing in background noise

Jasleen Singh, Karen A. Doherty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: The aim of the study was to assess how the use of a mild-gain hearing aid can affect hearing handicap, motivation, and attitudes toward hearing aids for middle-age, normal-hearing adults who do and do not self-report trouble hearing in background noise. Method: A total of 20 participants (45–60 years of age) with clinically normal-hearing thresholds (< 25 dB HL) were enrolled in this study. Ten self-reported difficulty hearing in background noise, and 10 did not self-report difficulty hearing in background noise. All participants were fit with mild-gain hearing aids, bilaterally, and were asked to wear them for 2 weeks. Hearing handicap, attitudes toward hearing aids and hearing loss, and motivation to address hearing problems were evaluated before and after participants wore the hearing aids. Participants were also asked if they would consider purchasing a hearing aid before and after 2 weeks of hearing aid use. Results: After wearing the hearing aids for 2 weeks, hearing handicap scores decreased for the participants who selfreported difficulty hearing in background noise. No changes in hearing handicap scores were observed for the participants who did not self-report trouble hearing in background noise. The participants who self-reported difficulty hearing in background noise also reported greater personal distress from their hearing problems, were more motivated to address their hearing problems, and had higher levels of hearing handicap compared to the participants who did not selfreport trouble hearing in background noise. Only 20% (2/10) of the participants who self-reported trouble hearing in background noise reported that they would consider purchasing a hearing aid after 2 weeks of hearing aid use. Conclusions: The use of mild-gain hearing aids has the potential to reduce hearing handicap for normal-hearing, middle-age adults who self-report difficulty hearing in background noise. However, this may not be the most appropriate treatment option for their current hearing problems given that only 20% of these participants would consider purchasing a hearing aid after wearing hearing aids for 2 weeks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)419-428
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican journal of audiology
Volume29
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Speech and Hearing

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