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Audiol > Volume 9(1); 2013 > Article
Audiology 2013;9(1): 74-79.
Published online: June 30, 2013.
doi: http://doi.org/10.21848/audiol.2013.9.1.74
개인청각보호장구의 청각역치차이와 어음명료도지수
1대구가톨릭대학교 언어청각치료학과
3가톨릭 청각음성언어센터
Hearing Threshold Shift and Speech Intelligibility Index of Personal Hearing Protective Devices
Chul-Hee Choi1,2,3
1Department of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, College of Medical Sciences, Catholic University of Daegu, Kyung-Buk, Korea
2Research Institute of Biomimetic Sensory Control, Catholic University of Daegu, Kyung-Buk, Korea
3Catholic Hearing Voice Speech Center, Catholic University of Daegu, Kyung-Buk, Korea
Correspondence  Chul-Hee Choi ,Tel: 82-53-850-2541, Fax: 82-53-850-2540, Email: cchoi@cu.ac.kr
Received: April 30, 2013; Revised: June 18, 2013   Accepted: June 19, 2013.  Published online: June 30, 2013.
The objective of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of the personal hearing protective devices in terms of the hearing threshold shift and the speech intelligibility index. The hearing threshold shift was used to quantify the protection effect of the personal hearing protective devices and obtained by subtracting the baseline threshold measured without the personal hearing protective devices from the hearing threshold measured with the personal hearing protective devices. The speech intelligibility index (SII) was used to predict and compare the potential benefits of each personal hearing protective device and obtained from the count-the dots method. A total of 6 college students aging from 21 to 25 years old were randomly recruited as subjects. Different types of personal hearing protective devices (earplug and earmuff) were used in this study. A statistically significant difference between the mean amount of threshold shift at low frequency (0.25-1 kHz) and that of high frequency region (2-8 kHz) was observed. The personal hearing protective devices (earplug and earmuff) were effective in protecting hearing from high frequency noises than low frequency noises. The use of earmuff was effective at the low frequency region while the use of earplug was effective at the high frequency region. In addition, the use of the earplug was more effective for the SII than that of the earmuff. The protection amount of the personal hearing protective devices (earplug and earmuff) ranged from 23 to 38 dB. However, the SII ranged from 32.6 to 54.5%, which indicates that the subjects misunderstood or missed the speech information ranged from 45.5 to 67.4% as mild to moderate hearing loss. This may lead to the development of new personal hearing protective devices which are effective for protecting hearing and understanding speech.
Key Words: Personal hearing protective devices, Earplug, Earmuff, Hearing threshold shift, Speech intelligibility index, Noise-induced hearing loss, Acute acoustic trauma
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