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March 31, 2004

Hearing Impaired 62-Year-Olds Can Now Enjoy Conversations As If They Are 25 Years Old

From: PRNewswire - Mar 31, 2004

Published Data Proves More Than 95 Percent Tested with Siemens TRIANO Hearing Aids Understand Speech in Noisy Environments Nearly Equal to College Students With Normal Hearing

PISCATAWAY, N.J., March 31 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Siemens Hearing Instruments, of Siemens AG, today announced the release of published data that proves more than 95 percent of individuals with hearing loss evaluated in university studies understood speech in noisy situations within the range of normal-hearing individuals, ages 18 to 29 years old, when wearing Siemens TRIANO hearing aids. Test subjects were 62 years old, on average. Siemens will be featuring TRIANO at the American Academy of Audiology 2004 convention in Salt Lake City, Utah April 1-3, 2004.

"I reference the clinical trials as well as my own experience when talking with my patients," said Jed Donohoe, an audiologist with Hull Hearing Aid Services, Inc., of Falls Church, Va., and TRIANO wearer. "The results of the study are a significant indication of the benefits of adaptive and automatic directional microphone systems in noisy environments. It is the dream of every individual with hearing loss to function in a noisy environment consistent with normal-hearing people. I spend a lot of time in noisy environments and now I can understand as well as others half my age since wearing my TRIANO."

"This is extremely encouraging news for the 28 million Americans challenged with hearing loss. Prior industry research has compared advanced digital hearing aids to less advanced ones, which is like comparing a typewriter to a desktop computer," said Thomas Powers, Ph.D., Siemens director of Audiology and Strategic Development. "This research compared the performance of individuals wearing advanced digital hearing aids to individuals with normal hearing in the same demanding listening environment. This result proves just how useful wearing hearing instruments can be."


The research, conducted at the University of Iowa and University of Pittsburgh, used the HINT (Hearing In Noise Test) to examine speech understanding in noisy environments. Developed by the House Ear Institute in Los Angeles, the HINT is commonly used in hearing aid research. Participants were surrounded by noise and required to repeat sentences heard in the presence of competing multi-talker background noise. The background noise was specifically selected to be similar to the noise heard in restaurants and at loud parties, situations that create problems for people with hearing loss. At both of the university sites, normal-hearing college students (age range 18 to 29 years old) were tested to establish a "gold standard" for performance on the HINT. These results were then compared to results from study participants consisting of a large sample of older adults (average age of 62 years old) with mild-to-moderate sensorineural hearing loss, also referred to as nerve damage or nerve deafness.

When the "speech-in-noise understanding" performance for the two different groups was averaged, statistical analysis revealed that the older individuals with hearing loss, wearing the Siemens TRIANO hearing aids, performed as well as the younger college students with normal hearing. Individuals were tested wearing TRIANO hearing aids with adaptive, automatic directional microphone system, using both a two-microphone and a three-microphone design. The performance was somewhat higher for the three-microphone system, but even with the two-microphone system the "speech-in-noise understanding" performance equaled that of the younger listeners. Complete study details have been published in the March issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Audiology.

About Siemens

Headquartered in Piscataway, NJ, Siemens Hearing Instruments designs, engineers and manufactures a variety of digital hearing aids in all styles to improve the quality of life for individuals with hearing loss. Visit for more information.

Siemens Medical Solutions of Siemens AG (NYSE: SI - News) is one of the largest suppliers to the healthcare industry in the world. Employing approximately 31,000 people worldwide and operating in more than 120 countries, Siemens Medical Solutions reported sales of 7.4 billion EUR, orders of 7.8 billion EUR and group profit of 1.1 billion EUR for fiscal 2003. More information can be obtained by visiting

Source: Siemens Hearing Instruments

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