Auditory Neuropathy, Amplification, and Fast vs. Slow Compression Release Times
Spirakis (2011) notes that the typical pattern of audiometric responses consistent with auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder (ANSD) includes normal otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) and/or cochlear microphonic (CM), absent middle ear muscle reflexes, and absent/abnormal auditory brainstem responses (ABR). Spirakis notes that the majority of individuals with ANSD have low frequency hearing loss and/or very poor word recognition scores (WRSs) with respect to the degree of puretone hearing loss.
The author reports that wide dynamic range compressions (WDRC) often use fast compression attack and release times, which results in decreased amplitude fluctuation of the speech signal, resulting in a more difficult speech listening task, as well as a more difficult (worse) signal to noise ratio (SNR).
Therefore, she compared unaided, versus slower and faster compression times across children with ANSD, with respect to their WRSs. Spirakis reports that the slower release times provided a significant increase in WRS as compared to the other two conditions. Further, slow compression release times provided 32 percent greater WRSs than did fast release times.
For More Information, References, and Recommendations
Spirakis SE. (2011) Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder and Hearing Aids: Re-Thinking Fitting Strategies. Hearing Review. October.