As researchers work to understand more about the impact of hearing loss, one area of particular interest is the way it affects our ability to recognize speech. A new study created a human speech recognition model based on deep machine learning that produced some promising results.
How Hearing Loss Affects Speech Recognition
In sensorineural hearing loss (the kind caused by age or exposure to loud noise) people tend to struggle to hear high-frequency sounds first. This includes voices that are higher-pitched and most consonant sounds. This makes understanding speech much more difficult. Certain circumstances can make it even harder, including:
- Background noise
- Multiple voices speaking at once
Because of this, people with hearing loss struggle in social situations like large gatherings or dinner with friends at a busy restaurant like Copper Canyon Grill. This can lead to frustration, anxiety and even isolation for those struggling with their hearing.
Research Seeks to Improve Hearing Aid Algorithms
Hearing aid algorithms are used to help improve speech recognition in people with hearing loss. However, current evaluation methods for these algorithms are costly and time-consuming.
To help combat that, researchers in Germany conducted a study using automatic speech recognition (ASR) to calculate how many words per sentence listeners understood.
The study consisted of eight participants with normal hearing and 20 participants with hearing loss who were exposed to a variety of complex noises that mask speech. Researchers separated those with hearing loss into three different groups based on the severity of their condition.
They found that their model was successful at predicting human speech recognition performance across all noise types and for different hearing abilities.
The hope is this model can be used to improve hearing aid algorithms and help users with speech recognition in any environment.
Don’t Leave Your Hearing Loss Untreated
As we continue to monitor advancements in hearing aid technology, our mission is to provide you with the best hearing care possible now. If you are experiencing signs of hearing loss, make an appointment for a hearing test as soon as possible.
The earlier you receive treatment, the less likely you are to suffer from the physical, mental and cognitive effects untreated hearing loss can cause.
For additional information or to schedule an appointment with one of our experts, contact Hearing Center Silver Spring today.