The effect of environmental noise on speech perception of individuals with sensorineural hearing loss: a prospective observational study


  • Lokanath Sahoo Department of ENT, Command Hospital, Pune, Maharashtra, India
  • Krushnendu Sundar Sahoo Hearing Zone, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
  • Nitish Kumar Nayak Hearing Zone, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India



Speech perception, Audiometry noise, Environmental noise, Signal to noise ratio, Pure tone average


Background: This study was done to identify the effect that environmental noises have on speech perception of individual with sensorineural hearing loss. The objectives were to develop evidence-based approach to support the need for sophisticated technology and to choose the better one for daily listening purposes of Hearing-Impaired individual to obtain a speech perception score when environmental noises are used as competing signal.

Methods: The study was executed in three phases. In phase 1, developing a noise check list and recording the noise levels at different places by using sound level meter, in phase 2, analyzing the recorded noises into spectral and temporal distributions by using software and phase 3, testing the hearing loss individual’s syllables in the presence of recorded noises.  

Results: For 0 dB signal to noise ratio (SNR), the mean scores for white noise and temple noise were higher than for other noise types. The bus and auto noise conditions also showed significant difference in values between them. For +10 dB SNR, speech scores obtained for audiometry noise differed statistically from only restaurant and traffic noise. The traffic noise being the poorest differed statistically from all other noise types. On the other end of range, restaurant noise showed highest speech scores.

Conclusions: The overall the scores were a lot higher for only restaurant noise and noise of travel in auto. These showed effect of masking release and that hearing impaired are better able to understand conversations in these situations at least.


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Original Research Articles