Purpose: To calculate the real-ear insertion gain (REIG) according to the types of hearing aids, we evaluated the preferred REIGs of Korean hearing-impaired listeners and psychoacoustic differences between open-canal fitting (OF) and closed-canal fitting (CF). Methods: The subjects with sensorineural hearing loss were divided into OF group (4 monaural fittings, 15 binaural fittings with 34 ears), and CF group (8 monaural fittings, 13 binaural fittings with 34 ears). There were no statistical differences in hearing threshold level (HTL) at each octave frequencies, word recognition score (WRS) and Korean Adaptation of the International Outcome Inventory for Hearing Aids (K-IOI-HA) between the two groups. When there was no need for further electroacoustic adjustment of the hearing aid, sharpness and occlusion of amplified sound, clarity of sentence, and loudness of noise were evaluated based on the everyday experience. And REIGs with international speech test signal and WRS in sound-treated room were measured. Results: Preferred REIG for HTL was low for OF compared to CF in 0.5 kHz and 0.75 kHz at input SPL of 55 dB, 0.5 kHz at 60 dB SPL, 0.25 kHz and 0.5 kHz at 80 dB SPL. However, there were no differences in aided WRS and psychoacoustics between the two groups. Conclusion: In this study, the preferred REIG of OF and CF groups showed a difference under 0.75 kHz although there were no psychoacoustic differences between the two groups. Therefore, the results of this study should be considered when formulating Korean-type hearing aid fitting formula.
MATERIALS AND METHODS