Scientists are continually trying to understand all the ways hearing loss affects people. One of the biggest ways is how it makes understanding speech much more difficult. To that end, researchers in Germany are looking at how machine learning can enhance speech recognition in people with hearing loss.
What is Machine Learning?
According to IBM, “machine learning is a branch of artificial intelligence (AI) and computer science which focuses on the use of data and algorithms to imitate the way that humans learn.”
Latest Research on Hearing Loss and Speech Recognition
A new study out of Germany used automatic speech recognition (ASR) to calculate how many words per sentence listeners understood. ASR is used in speech recognition technology like Siri or Alexa.
The study consisted of eight participants with normal hearing as well as 20 participants with hearing loss who were exposed to a variety of complex noises that mask the speech. Researchers separated those with hearing loss into three different groups based on the severity of their condition.
Their model was successful at predicting human speech recognition performance for all noise types and different hearing abilities. The hope is that this research may be able to improve hearing aid algorithms to help users pick up speech in noisier environments.
Untreated Hearing Loss Makes Communication Difficult
Because hearing loss affects your ability to understand speech, it makes communication with others more difficult. This can have a variety of negative consequences, including:
- Affects your ability to follow important work meetings
- Not being able to understand what your spouse is saying when out to dinner at Esther’s Kitchen
- Feeling mentally fatigued after interacting with others
- Increased feelings of anxiety or frustration about your struggles to communicate
- Isolating yourself from others because socializing has become too exhausting
Hearing Aids Keep You Connected to Others
If you’re experiencing hearing difficulties now, the best thing to do is schedule a hearing test. If hearing loss is found, your audiologist will likely recommend hearing aids.
Even as researchers work to improve hearing aid algorithms, current devices still are very effective at improving your ability to understand sounds and speech in all environments.
By getting help now, you’ll be able to stay connected to those around you and improve your hearing health.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our experts, contact Nevada Ear + Sinus Institute today.
Call Nevada Ear + Sinus Institute at (702) 735-7668 for more information or to schedule an appointment.