The Journal of International
Advanced Otology
Original Article

Long-Term Effects of Hearing Aid Use on Auditory Spectral Discrimination and Temporal Envelope Sensitivity and Speech Perception in Noise


Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Nowon Eulji Medical Center, Eulji University, Seoul, Korea


Division of ENT, Sleep Disordered Breathing, Respiratory, and Anesthesia, Office of Product Evaluation and Quality, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, US Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA

J Int Adv Otol 2022; 18: 43-50
DOI: 10.5152/iao.2022.21228
Read: 247 Downloads: 117 Published: 01 January 2022

BACKGROUND: The aims of this study were to evaluate the long-term effects of hearing-aid use on auditory spectral discrimination, temporal envelope sensitivity, and speech perception ability and to determine whether hearing performance changes with the duration of hearing-aid use.

METHODS: The study included 13 elderly participants (64.15 ± 9.87 years) who had used hearing-aids for 12 months in everyday life. We compared the auditory performance without hearing-aids at the time of pre-fitting with the auditory performance with hearing-aids at 1 month and 12 months after fitting. Three different psychoacoustic measurements were made at their most comfortable levels to exclude the effect of amplification: (1) spectral-ripple discrimination, (2) temporal modulation detection, and (3) speech recognition in white noise.

RESULTS: Repeated-measures analysis of variance demonstrated that the duration of hearing-aid use significantly affected spectral-ripple discrimination thresholds and 100 Hz temporal modulation detection threshold (P < .05). Post hoc tests revealed that the improvements in spectral discrimination in the early post-fitting stage (1 month) did not seem to increase over the period of hearing-aid use, whereas the temporal envelope sensitivity improved continuously over time (up to 12 months).

CONCLUSION: These results imply that hearing-aid users adapt to hearing-aid processing for spectral discrimination immediately, whereas they need time to adapt to hearing-aid processing for temporal envelope sensitivity. Alternatively, long-term hearing-aid use could induce positive plastic changes exclusively in terms of temporal envelope sensitivity.

Cite this article as: An Y, Sub Lee E, Hyun Kim D, Sik Oh H, Ho Won J, Joon Shim H. Long-term effects of hearing aid use on auditory spectral discrimination and temporal envelope sensitivity and speech perception in noise. J Int Adv Otol. 2022;18(1):43-50.

EISSN 2148-3817