© Borgis - New Medicine 3/1999, s. 70-71
Wanda Wojnarowska-Kulesza, Artur Lorens, Jolanta Serafin, Anna Piotrowska
A natural sound method for hearing aid fitting in small children
Institute of Physiology and Pathology of Hearing, Warsaw, Poland
Director: Prof. Henryk Skarżyński, MD, DSc
Hearing aid fitting includes tests assessing the patient´s hearing perception. Tests designed for adults are not useful for children, because they exceed the child´s perception. We have attempted to develop tests useful for the evaluation of children´s hearing perception and hearing aid fitting.
One of the most challenging responsibilities of the audiologist is to fit a small child with a hearing aid and adequately determine the gain. The importance of a sufficiently audible signal for the development of hearing and speech is indisputable. However, the methods leading to this goal differ significantly. Few audiologists conduct systematic studies, while many fail to use the most modern technologies. The primary goal in fitting aids for children is to make sure that the patients will hear speech sounds at a safe level. In the fitting process, it is necessary to perform tests, which check the patient´s sound perception and facilitate the choice of adequate acoustic parameters for the aid. Current methods are based either on audiometric test results (ABR, VRA, impedance audiometry, otoacoustic emissions, in situ measurements, matchbox) (4) or on loudness scaling (1). With small children, the latter is of little use as it exceeds the child´s perceptive capacity (5).
The aim of the study was to prepare phonic material for free field testing of the hearing competence of children fitted with hearing aids.
Material and methods
We used a method of hearing aid fitting based on natural sound tests in 20 randomly - chosen children aged between 4 months and 5 years. We evaluated the previously - performed audiometry based on one of the mentioned methods (i.e. ABR, VRA, impedance audiometry or pure tone audiometry) with unaided thresholds obtained by free field testing. Simultaneously, we assessed the discomfort level.
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