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Year: 2001  Vol. 5   Num. 2  - Apr/June Print:
Original Article
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Comparative Study Between Performances of Analog and Digital Hearing Aids Using SSI Test of Evaluation of Central Auditory Process
Estudo Comparativo do Desempenho de Aparelhos de Amplificação Sonora Individual Analógicos e Digitais Utilizando o Teste de SSI de Avaliação do Processamento Auditivo Central
Maria Helena Untura Caetano*.
Key words:
central auditory processing, hearing loss, amplifiers, hearing aids, speech inteligibility, speech perception.

Aim: This study aimed to compare the performance of analog and digital hearing aids from a psychoacoustic point of view, using the SSI test in field under message-competition. Material and method: Forty-two patients with sensorineural hearing loss were studied through a comparative, simple blind and randomized trial. All patients underwent the SSI test unaided and aided in free field, when MCR = +10dB, 0dB, -10dB and -20dB, respecting this order. Both hearing aid models had an identical appearance. The ear which received the hearing aid was always the one prescribed by the physician. The study lasted approximately 2 months. Results: Results showed that the intelligibility of speech under competition is better with hearing aid and that the performance with hearing aid is better in mild than in moderate hearing loss. Regarding the Maximum Vocal Discrimination (DVM), the digital hearing aid was better than the analog one when it was <60% or >71%, but there was no difference between both technologies when DVM was between 61-70%. Conclusion: Subjects with mild and moderate hearing loss presented better performance with digital hearing aid. The digital technology allows better communication in patients with recruitment. When evaluated by the SSI test, the digital hearing aid offers better results than the analog one in the condition of message-competition ratio (MCR).



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