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Phonak Lumity - September 2023

Can you provide evidence to support the use of hearing aids in pediatric patients?

Brandy Pouliot, AuD

April 8, 2024

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Question

Can you provide evidence to support the use of hearing aids in pediatric patients?

Answer

If you’ve worked with pediatric patients, you know how important it is to give this population access to audibility. Not only do they not have the life experience of context to fill in the blanks when they don’t hear, but they also require decreased reverberation times as well as an increased signal to noise ratio and high frequency speech information. These factors are why its imperative that hearing solutions have features that can support speech and language acquisition and support cognitive, social-emotional and physical development.

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Phonak Sky Lumity hearing aids have been developed with SmartSpeech Technology, which improves speech understanding in challenging situations as well as reduces listening effort.

Children learn language from overhearing or eavesdropping, and if you’ve been around little ones, you know they pick up the wildest stuff from adults and peers, even when from another room. Children with hearing aids have significantly poorer soft speech recognition than their normal hearing peers, which means their ability to overhear is limited. Speech EnhancerTM is a feature found in premium Lumity hearing instruments that is designed to help patients hear soft speech in quiet situations. This feature was evaluated, and findings indicated that Speech Enhancer increased speech recognition scores for low-level speech in quiet and was found to be comfortable by the majority of children aged 5 –12 years1.

Two boys playing on playground

According to Cruckley et. al. (2011), 90% of an elementary-age child’s school day is spent listening to speech in noise1 so having noise reduction may be a benefit. Dynamic Noise CancellationTM (DNC), a Phonak feature found in premium and advanced technology levels, is designed to reduce competing noise from the sides and back and can be adjusted by the patient in the myPhonak or myPhonak Junior app, or can be adjusted in the Target Software. To determine if speech intelligibility is affected by Dynamic Noise Cancellation (DNC) and if DNC is beneficial for children, a study was conducted at Vanderbilt University. The results of this study indicated that activating DNC maintained speech intelligibility (for all age groups) while significantly reducing listening effort for children ages 10-17.

When choosing a solution for children, it’s important to have robust hardware and evidence-based software that you can be confident will allow them to thrive in the world. Phonak Sky Lumity, Roger, and the myPhonak Junior app help support children of all ages and their families to successfully navigate our noisy world.

For more information, reach out to your Phonak Representative, check out the Phonak pediatric toolkit, or go to Phonak.com

  1. Wolfe, J., Duke, M., Miller, S., Schafer, E., Jones, C., Rakita, L., Dunn, A., Battles, J., Neumann, S., & Manning, J. (2022). Low-Level Speech Recognition of Children with Hearing Aids.Journal of the American Academy of Audiology,33(4), 196–205. https://doi.org/10.1055/a-1692-9670
  2. Cruckley, J., Scollie, S., & Parsa, V. (2011). An exploration of nonquiet listening at school. Journal of Educational Audiology, 17, 23–35.
  3. Pletch, K,. Kruse, R., Branscome, K., Nelson, J., & Picou, E. (2024, April 17-20) Noise control algorithm reduces listening effort for adolescents who are bilateral hearing aid users.
  4. [Conference Poster], American Academy of Audiology Annual Conference, Atlanta, Georgia. USA. https://www.phonak.com/evidence. Poster in preparation

 


brandy pouliot

Brandy Pouliot, AuD

Audiology Manager for Phonak, USA

Brandy Pouliot, AuD is an Audiology Manager for Phonak US. She earned her Doctor of Audiology degree from Nova Southeastern University and practiced privately until she joined Phonak in 2012 as a Lyric Clinical Trainer. Dr. Pouliot is passionate about supporting HCPs and their patients live a life without limitations.


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