Aging reduces the ability to understand speech in noise. Hearing rehabilitation is one of the ways to help older people communicate effectively. This study aimed to investigate the effect of vowel auditory training on the improvement of speech-in-noise (SIN) perception among elderly listeners.
This study was conducted on 36 elderly listeners (17 males and 15 females) with the mean±SD of 67.6±6.33. They had the normal peripheral auditory ability but had difficulties in SIN perception. The samples were randomly divided into two groups of intervention and control. The intervention group underwent vowel auditory training; however, the control group received no training.
After vowel auditory training, the intervention group showed significant changes in the results of the SIN test at two signal-to-noise ratios of 0 and -10 and the Iranian version of the Speech, Spatial, and Qualities of Hearing Scale, compared to the control group (P<0.001). Regarding the Speech Auditory Brainstem Response test, the F 0 magnitude was higher in the intervention group (8.42±2.26), compared to the control group (6.68±1.87) (P<0.011).
This study investigated the effect of vowel auditory training on the improvement of SIN perception which could be probably due to better F 0 encoding and receiving. This ability enhancement resulted in the easier perception of speech and its more proper separation from background noise which in turn enhanced the ability of the old people to follow the speech of a specific person and track the discussion.