Comparison of speech recognition performance with and without a face mask between a basic and a premium hearing aid in hearing-impaired listeners

Hye Yoon Seol, Mini Jo, Heejung Yun, Jin Gyun Park, Hye Min Byun, Il Joon Moon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The mask mandate during the COVID-19 pandemic leads to communication challenges as sound energy gets reduced and the visual cues are lost due to the face mask. This study examines the impact of a face mask on sound energy and compares speech recognition performance between a basic and a premium hearing aid. Methods: Participants watched four video clips (a female and a male speaker with and without a face mask) and repeated the target sentences in various test conditions. Real-ear measurement was performed to investigate the changes in sound energy in no mask, surgical, and N95 mask conditions. Results: With the face mask on, sound energy significantly decreased for all types of masks. For speech recognition, the premium hearing aid showed significant improvement in the mask condition. Conclusion: The findings emphasize and encourage health care professionals to actively use communication strategies, such as speaking slowly and reducing background noise, when interacting with individuals with hearing loss.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103929
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Volume44
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Hearing aid
  • Hearing loss
  • Mask
  • Speech perception

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