a1 CNR – Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Istituto di Ingegneria Biomedica (ISIB), Milan, Italy
a2 Dipartimento di Bioingegneria, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy
Objective: To assess the influence on speech intelligibility of various signals used in tinnitus sound therapy.
Materials and methods: We measured, in normal hearing subjects, the intelligibility of speech in the presence of three different sound therapy signals: wide-band noise, a recording of moving water, and a combination of tones.
Results: For a given level of stimulation, speech intelligibility was worst in the presence of wide-band noise, compared with the other sound therapy signals. When the stimulation level of the three different signals was increased, speech intelligibility deteriorated more rapidly with wide-band noise, compared with the other two signals. The combination of tones had the least influence on speech intelligibility.
Conclusion: The use of different tinnitus sound therapy signals can lead to significantly different effects on the intelligibility of speech. The use of natural sound recordings or combinations of tones may provide the patient with more flexibility to change the stimulation level during treatment.
(Accepted December 09 2010)
(Online publication June 10 2011)
c1 Address for correspondence: Dr Alessia Paglialonga, Istituto di Ingegneria Biomedica, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche CNR, c/o Politecnico di Milano, Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32, I-20133 Milan, Italy Ph: +39 0223993343 Fax: +39 0223993367 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr A Paglialonga takes responsibility for the integrity of the content of the paper
Competing interests: None declared