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Speech intelligibility and the use of hearing protectors

, : Speech intelligibility and the use of hearing protectors. Audiology 15(4): 348-356

On theoretical grounds, it is usually assumed that the use of hearing protectors in a noisy working environment has no influence upon speech intelligibility - in fact, may even increase it. In practice, however, people often do not wear hearing protectors, since these are widely believed to reduce speech intelligibility. In the present article, a description is given of an investigation, carried out among 537 subjects, into the influence of hearing protectors upon the speech intelligibility of people suffering from noise-induced hearing loss. From this analysis, it has become clear that the use of ear-muffs only leads to an improvement in speech intelligibility in persons who, according to their pure-tone audiogram, suffer from relatively small hearing losses. In general, it may be said that an increase in the severity of hearing losses will result in a reduced speech intelligibility.

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Accession: 006461397

PMID: 1275819

DOI: 10.3109/00206097609071794

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