UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Development and clinical evaluation of a frequency compressor for the hearing impaired Van Schyndel, André John


The residual low-frequency sensitivity demonstrated by many severely hearing impaired persons has led to the development of various methods of presenting speech information in a lower bandwidth. Only limited success has thus far been reported. In this thesis a new frequency compression algorithm was developed and realized as a real time, portable, electronic device to be worn as a hearing aid. A clinical study incorporating optimal amplification and relatively long training times with the device indicates that although speech comprehension drops initially, it can rise well beyond that which is demonstrated with conventional hearing aids. A learning curve is presented and its features are justified by the clinical results. A full analysis of the frequency compression algorithm is presented as well as results from various speech comprehension tests administered in the clinical study. One subject is already a full time user of the device, and more may follow.

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