Background: Hearing loss (HL) is the most common chronic disease and has been linked to negative health outcomes. Hearing aids (HAs) are regarded as the gold standard for HL management, however, the adoption rate of HAs is relatively low for various reasons. With this background, hearing devices, such as personal sound amplification products (PSAPs) received significant attention as an alternative to conventional HAs. This study aimed to evaluate the clinical efficacy of PSAPs in patients with mild to moderately severe HL. Methods: Nineteen patients with mild hearing loss (MHL), 23 with moderate hearing loss (MDHL), and 15 with moderately severe hearing loss (MSHL) participated in the study. Electroacoustic analysis, simulated real-ear measurements (REMs), and three clinical evaluations were implemented. Results: All devices satisfied the electroacoustic tolerances. All devices provided sufficient gain for MHL and MDHL audiograms. However, in MSHL audiogram, the gains of PSAPs were insufficient, especially for high frequencies. In terms of clinical evaluations, sound-field audiometry showed significant improvements between aided and unaided thresholds in all groups for all devices (P < 0.001). Significant improvements of word recognition scores were only shown for HAs between aided and unaided conditions. The Korean version of the Hearing In Noise Test did not show any consistent findings for all devices and groups. Conclusion: Certain PSAPs are beneficial for improving hearing and speech perception in patients with HL.
- Hearing aids
- Hearing loss
- Personal sound amplification products
- Wearable electronic devices