July 2019 Hear-it.org

Speech perception in noise is often a challenge for many cochlear implant (CI) users in everyday life. Therefore, a study tested how training of perception of speech in noise improved speech perception among people with cochlear implants.

Sentence in noise test

To assess the effect of training on speech perception in noise, a group of pre-lingually hearing impaired cochlear implant users with years of cochlear implant experience was compared with normal hearing young adults. All the participants followed single- and multisession training using the same training protocol. The participants included 22 cochlear implant users with pre-lingual hearing loss and 30 people with normal hearing. A sentence in noise test was used for the training. All the participants took part in a single training session. Six people with normal hearing and seven people with cochlear implants continued training for four additional training sessions. All seven cochlear implant users trained for an additional five days, totalling 10 training sessions.

Noise Training

Improvements

Following the single-session training, the cochlear implant users showed “speech reception thresholds in noise” (SRTn) that were 9 to 10 dB higher (worse) than the normal hearing participants. After the five first days of training, five of seven cochlear implant users reduced this disadvantage by half. After 10 days of training, the cochlear implant participants improved in performance by 4.1 dB signal-noise-ratio (SNR). According to the authors, the study is the first to demonstrate the course of learning and improvements in SRTn following training speech perception in noise in cochlear implant users with pre-lingual hearing loss.

The study, "Training of Speech Perception in Noise in Pre-Lingual Hearing Impaired Adults With Cochlear Implants Compared With Normal Hearing Adults", was published in the journal Otology & Neurotology

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