Patient-reported speech in noise difficulties and hyperacusis symptoms and correlation with test results

Laryngoscope. 2012 Jul;122(7):1609-14. doi: 10.1002/lary.23337. Epub 2012 May 7.


Objectives/hypothesis: To compare self-reported symptoms of difficulty hearing speech in noise and hyperacusis in adults with auditory processing disorders (APDs) and normal controls; and to compare self-reported symptoms to objective test results (speech in babble test, transient evoked otoacoustic emission [TEOAE] suppression test using contralateral noise).

Study design: A prospective case-control pilot study.

Methods: Twenty-two participants were recruited in the study: 10 patients with reported hearing difficulty, normal audiometry, and a clinical diagnosis of APD; and 12 normal age-matched controls with no reported hearing difficulty. All participants completed the validated Amsterdam Inventory for Auditory Disability questionnaire, a hyperacusis questionnaire, a speech in babble test, and a TEOAE suppression test using contralateral noise.

Results: Patients had significantly worse scores than controls in all domains of the Amsterdam Inventory questionnaire (with the exception of sound detection) and the hyperacusis questionnaire (P < .005). Patients also had worse TEOAE suppression test results in both ears than controls; however, this result was not significant after Bonferroni correction. Strong correlations were observed between self-reported symptoms of difficulty hearing speech in noise and speech in babble test results in the right ear (ρ = 0.624, P = .002), and between self-reported symptoms of hyperacusis and TEOAE suppression test results in the right ear (ρ = -0.597 P = .003).

Conclusions: There was no significant correlation between the two tests. A strong correlation was observed between right ear speech in babble and patient-reported intelligibility of speech in noise, and right ear TEOAE suppression by contralateral noise and hyperacusis questionnaire.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Hearing Tests
  • Hearing*
  • Humans
  • Hyperacusis / diagnosis*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Noise*
  • Otoacoustic Emissions, Spontaneous
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prospective Studies
  • Self Report*
  • Speech*
  • Young Adult