Loudness discomfort levels (LDLs) traditionally have been used to set the saturation sound pressure level (SSPL) or maximum output of a hearing aid. Many procedures have been used to obtain LDLs for adults; however, no systematic study has been conducted to determine if LDLs could be obtained reliably for children. In the present study, LDLs were measured on 20 hearing-impaired children aged 7 to 14 years using a modification of a procedure described by Hawkins, Walden, Montgomery. and Prosek (Ear Hear 1987; 8: 162-169). Test-retest reliability measures were obtained for 8 of the 20 children, and this modified procedure was found to provide reasonably reliable results. Data from the group of 20 children also were compared with similar data obtained from 20 hearing-impaired adults. These results revealed no systematic differences in LDLs between the two groups, suggesting no a priori reason to limit the maximum output of a hearing aid for a child in this age range below the levels that are appropriate for adults. Poor correlation between LDLs and hearing levels for both age groups indicate a need for determining LDLs on an individual basis whenever possible.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Speech and Hearing