Hearing aids are the best option for improved communication for nearly 38 million individuals with hearing loss in the United States. However, user surveys indicate that only 25% of patients who could be helped by hearing aids wear them, and of those who do, only 75% are satisfied with their ability to communicate. The most common complaint is that hearing aids “make things louder but not clearer”, suggesting that wearers cannot adequately resolve the information provided to them. Our approach is to determine which acoustic cues are important; which patients are susceptible to distortion of those cues; and what processing can best preserve or enhance usable cues. Our work in this area aims to expand our knowledge about auditory perception and the effects of hearing loss and to guide decisions about hearing treatment.
For more on this topic, read our recent papers on measuring signal fidelity and individual listening profiles.