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New Hearing Aid Research Positively Impacts Hearing Health Industry

Siemens Hearing Instruments TRIANO' Clinical Trials Demonstrate the Value of Adaptive and Automatic Directional Microphone Systems to Audiologists

SALT LAKE CITY, March 31, 2004 Since Siemens Hearing Instruments announced the outcome of its TRIANO' clinical trials, audiologists have reported positive feedback about the results and the ability of TRIANO to adapt to speech in noisy environments. More than 95 percent of the individuals with hearing loss tested in the companys clinical trials understood speech in noisy situations within the range of normal hearing individuals ages 18 29 years old.

I reference the clinical trials as well as my own experience when talking with my patients about TRIANO hearing instruments from Siemens, said Jed Donohoe, a Hearing Aid Specialist with Hull Hearing Aid Services, Inc., of Falls Church, Va. and TRIANO wearer. The results of the study are a significant indication of the benefits of adaptive and automatic directional microphone systems in noisy environments. It is the dream of every individual with hearing loss to function in a noisy environment consistent with normal hearing people. I spend a lot of time in noisy environments and now I can understand as well as others half my age since wearing my TRIANO.

I use this study to indicate to my patients the benefits of TRIANO to the hearing impaired community, said Larry Byle AuD, offices in Rochester and Bay City, Mich. It is the most advanced technology available and the clinical trials demonstrate this.

In the past, the perception has been that hearing instruments didnt provide much assistance in difficult, noisy listening situations. Siemens designed TRIANO to address this primary complaint of people with mild-to-severe hearing loss. The advances in hearing technology, such as in TRIANO, proved that there is significant benefit in wearing hearing instruments, explained Thomas Powers, Ph.D., Siemens director of Audiology and Strategic Development.

This is extremely encouraging news for the millions of people suffering from hearing loss who have problems understanding speech in difficult listening situations, Powers continued. In fact, when using TRIANO hearing aids, older individuals with significant hearing loss understood speech in environments with background noise as well as young college students with normal hearing.

About the Study

The research, conducted at the University of Iowa and University of Pittsburgh, used the HINT (Hearing In Noise Test) to examine speech understanding in challenging, noisy environments. Developed by the House Ear Institute in Los Angeles, the HINT is commonly used in hearing instrument research. In the TRIANO research conducted at university sites, the participants were surrounded by noise, creating a very difficult listening situation. The participants tested were required to repeat sentences heard in the presence of competing multi-talker background noise. The background noise was specifically selected to be similar to the noise heard in restaurants and at loud parties; situations that create problems for people with hearing loss.

At both of the University research sites, normal hearing college students (age range 18 to 29 years old) were tested to establish a gold standard for performance on the HINT. These results were then compared to results from study participants consisting of a large sample of older adults (average age of 62 years old) with mild-to-moderate sensorineural hearing loss, a condition often referred to as nerve damage or nerve deafness.

When the speech-in-noise understanding score for the two different groups was averaged, statistical analysis revealed that the older individuals with hearing loss, wearing the Siemens TRIANO hearing instruments, performed as well as the younger college students with normal hearing. The TRIANO hearing aids with adaptive and automatic directional microphone system are available using either a two-microphone or a three-microphone design. The individuals with hearing loss were tested using both designs. The performance was somewhat higher for the three-microphone system, but even with the two-microphone system the speech-in-noise understanding performance equaled that of the young listeners.

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