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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 247942, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/247942
Research Article

Objective Estimation of Frequency-Specific Pure-Tone Hearing Thresholds following Bone-Conduction Hearing Aid Stimulation

Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Halle Hearing and Implant Center, University Hospital Halle (Saale) of Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, 06120 Halle (Saale), Germany

Received 19 November 2013; Accepted 28 January 2014; Published 10 April 2014

Academic Editors: Y. Noguchi and A. J. Yonkers

Copyright © 2014 Torsten Rahne and Thomas Ehelebe. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Patients suffering from conductive or mixed hearing loss may benefit from bone-conduction hearing systems (BAHS). The amount of amplification provided by the hearing system is selected based on the individual’s sensorineural frequency-specific threshold. With patients who are not able to provide thresholds behaviorally, such as young children, objective methods are required to estimate the unaided and aided hearing threshold and thus the success of the hearing system fitting. In a prospective study with ten adult Baha softband users, aided and unaided frequency-specific thresholds were estimated. Aided thresholds to tone bursts via Baha stimulation were obtained behaviorally and electrophysiologically using cortical auditory evoked potentials (CAEPs) and were compared to pure-tone thresholds using routine clinical audiometry. For all stimulation frequencies, the frequency-specific electrophysiological and behavioral hearing thresholds measured with Baha stimulation were highly correlated and not different. Increased thresholds were observed only with the 0.5 kHz Baha stimulation as compared to the pure-tone audiogram. Objective measurement of frequency-specific hearing thresholds with CAEPs is applicable to BAHS users.