Are open-fit hearing aids a possible alternative to bone-anchored hearing devices in patients with mild to severe hearing loss? A preliminary trial

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Amberley V. Ostevik *
Rachel Caissie
Janine Verge
Mark Gulliver
William E. Hodgetts
(*) Corresponding Author:
Amberley V. Ostevik | aostevik@gmail.com

Abstract

Open-fit hearing aids (OFHAs) may be of benefit for some individuals with chronic outer and middle ear conditions for which boneanchored hearing devices (BAHDs) are normally recommended. The purpose of this study was to compare performance between OFHAs and BAHDs. A Starkey Destiny 800 OFHA was fit on eight adult BAHD users and speech perception measures in quiet and in background noise were compared under two different test conditions: i) BAHD only and ii) OFHA only. Equivalent outcome measure performance between these two conditions suggests that the OFHA was able to provide sufficient amplification for mild to moderate degrees of hearing loss (pure-tone averages (PTAs) less than 47 dB HL). The improved speech perception performances and increased loudness ratings observed for several of the participants with moderately-severe to severe degrees of hearing loss (PTAs of 47 dB HL or greater) in the BAHD only condition suggest that the OFHA did not provide sufficient amplification for these individuals. Therefore, OFHAs may be a successful alternative to the BAHD for individuals with no more than a moderate conductive hearing loss who are unable or unwilling to undergo implant surgery or unable to wear conventional hearing aids due to allergies, irritation, or chronic infection associated with the ear being blocked with a shell or earmold.

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