B-ENT

Quantifying the bystander-effect of 2.5G mobile telephones on the speech perception of digital hearing aid users

1.

ENT Department, Lister Hospital, UK

2.

ENT Department, Atticon University Hospital, Athens, Greece

3.

ENT Department, Hippokrateion General Hospital of Athens, Greece

4.

Siemens-S.Stamou Co, Athens, Greece

5.

Medical Physics Laboratory, University of Athens, Greece

B-ENT 2012; 8: 95-101
Read: 844 Downloads: 608 Published: 13 February 2020

Quantifying the bystander-effect of 2.5G mobile telephones on the speech perception of digital hearing aid users. Objective: To quantify the bystander-effect of 2.5G mobile telephones (2.5G-MTs) on the speech perception of digital hearing-aid (dHA) users. Differences in the susceptibility of behind-the-ear (BTE) compared to in-to-the-ear (ITE) dHAs were also assessed.

Materials/Methods: Prospective-comparative study conducted at a tertiary referral centre (ENT Department) and a HA-fitting laboratory. Key-word recognition scores from open-sentence lists were calculated. Power-analysis determined that a minimum of 60 subjects with SNHL (30 in each group), using either BTE or ITE dHAs, were required for reliable study outcomes. Sixty-four adults were tested with a functioning 2.5G-MT at almost physical contact with their ear; thirty subjects used BTE and 34 ITE dHAs.

Main outcome measures: Aided word recognition score differences between studied groups and within each group, while a 2.5G-MT was activated. Cut-off inclusion criterion regarding baseline aided word recognition score was 75%.

Results: Baseline aided word recognition scores for ITE dHAs were better compared to BTE ones (p < 0.01). Following the 2.5G-MT activation, this difference disappeared. No statistically significant difference in word recognition was observed between the examined groups, or within the BTE group, from the bystander-effect of the 2.5G-MT. ITE dHAs proved more susceptible to electromagnetic interference (p < 0.05).

Conclusion: The bystander-effect of 2.5G-MTs on the speech perception of dHA users is either minimal, or not significant. The observed compatibility has a positive impact on the lives of millions of people worldwide. The long-standing theory of more interference in BTE compared to ITE HAs is not confirmed by the results of the present study.

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