Despite our dependency on our hearing, a loss of hearing can often go unnoticed for extend periods of time. Because a hearing impairment occurs slowly over many years, the hearing impaired may become accustomed to their condition before they realize it has affected them. One of the earliest indicators of hearing loss is the inability to hear high-frequency sounds, such as the voices of children and women. Generally, individuals with a high-frequency are still able to hear low- to mid-frequencies clearly, making it even more challenging to recognize the signs early on. Fortunately, a group of European researchers have developed a promising new testing process to make high-frequency hearing aid fittings more effective.
A Phoneme Perception Test (PPT), is a new testing method that was created to measure the perception of the specific phonemes s and sh. (A phoneme is a distinguishing unit of sound used to differentiate words.) This new test was developed to measure the difference in the recognition of specific phonemes for various settings with hearing aids.
The study shows that there are marked differences in sound perception between the two sets of stimulus materials. This indicates that detection and recognition thresholds are better measured in high frequencies using the nFL set. Additionally, both sets should be used to effectively fit hearing aids for high-frequency hearing loss.
Through the use of PPT, individuals with a hearing impairment will experience improved audibility and recognition for high-frequency sounds, which will result in greater auditory rehabilitation for the patient.
If you’re looking to treat your hearing loss, our team of audiology professionals can help. As experts in the industry of hearing health, our audiologists provide highly-specialized auditory tests, services and devices from a range of hearing aid manufacturers, including Phonak hearing aids, Oticon hearing aids and ReSound hearing aids. Learn more about our services at (502) 584-3573.