Improving hearing aids for people with auditory neuropathy – Bionics Institute

Improving hearing aids for people with auditory neuropathy

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The grant from the Deafness Foundation will help our research aimed at improving speech understanding in people with auditory neuropathy.

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A recently awarded grant from the Deafness Foundation will support the development and testing of a new sound-processing strategy for hearing aids aimed at improving speech understanding for both children and adults with auditory neuropathy. Currently, there is neither a cure nor a specific hearing aid that successfully addresses this type of hearing loss and many people with auditory neuropathy experience great difficulty understanding speech, especially in noisy situations.

An innovative sound-processing scheme is currently being implemented in a programmable hearing aid that is commercially available. Preliminary results suggest that this strategy, which enhances those parts of speech sounds that are most difficult for people with auditory neuropathy to discriminate, can lead to better speech understanding.

The funds provided by the Deafness Foundation will allow the employment of an audiologist to join the collaborative team of Professors Hugh McDermott and Peter Blamey (Bionics Institute Deputy Directors), A/Prof Gary Rance (The University of Melbourne) and several commercial partners.

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