Young adult hearing aid users wanted to help explore the link between hearing and speech

03 Apr 2013 16:24:18.943

Advances in technology have greatly improved the effectiveness of hearing aids. Despite these improvements, listening to speech in noisy situations still proves difficult for those with a hearing loss – even with the help of a hearing aid.

Researchers from The University of Nottingham are looking for hearing aid users aged 18-40 to complete a series of hearing tests in order to provide a greater understanding of what listening to speech in a noisy environment is like.

The study looks to investigate if the way people speak is related to how they understand the speech of others. This information will be used to create interventions to improve the understanding of speech in noisy environments.

Click here for full story

Never been explored before

PhD student Rachel Haines is leading the research at National Institute for Health Research Nottingham Hearing Biomedical Research Unit. She said: “New research suggests that a person’s ability to understand speech and to produce speech is related. This has never been explored before in relation to thinking about the strategies people adopt to understand speech in noise. We think looking at this link could be a really exciting avenue to explore, potentially leading to intervention strategies.” 

Understanding speech in noisy backgrounds isn’t just a problem that effects people with a diagnosed hearing loss; children and older adults also have more difficulty understanding speech in noisy situations than normal-hearing young adults.

Rachel said: “The results we gather from the young adults with a hearing loss will be compared to those of children, young adults with normal hearing, and older adults aged 60+ who performed the same task.

“We will investigate how the relationship between perceiving and producing certain speech cues develops across the lifespan and how it is affected by hearing loss. Ultimately, we would like our research to be able to provide benefit to the social and professional or academic lives of anyone who feels effected by listening to speech in noisy conditions.”

Hearing aid users aged 18-40

The appeal for volunteers is being especially targeted at young adult hearing aid users aged 18-40 as this group has been challenging for the researchers to recruit.

Participants will be invited to visit the NIHR Nottingham Hearing Biomedical Research Unit at Ropewalk House in Nottingham city centre at a time of their choosing. If you would like to take part in the study or for more information, contact Rachel Haines on 0115 823 2600 or email her at

— Ends —

For up to the minute media alerts follow us on Twitter

Notes to editors: The University of Nottinghamhas 42,000 students at award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It was ‘one of the first to embrace a truly international approach to higher education’, according to the Sunday Times University Guide 2013. It is also one of the most popular universities among graduate employers, one of the world’s greenest universities, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong and the QS World Rankings.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University aims to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for its research into global food security.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fundraising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news

Story credits

More information is available from Rachel Haines, PhD student at The University of Nottingham, on or +44 (0)115 823 2600.

Fraser Wilson - Communications Officer

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 846 6691 Location: University Park

Additional resources

No additional resources for this article

Related articles

Innovative hearing aid study in running for prestigious award

Published Date
Wednesday 9th October 2013

University expertise used to help deaf children learn

Published Date
Wednesday 18th July 2012

School hearing tests: are they as good as they sound?

Published Date
Monday 8th October 2012

Does loud music wreck your hearing?

Published Date
Friday 6th July 2012

Media Relations - External Relations

The University of Nottingham
YANG Fujia Building
Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5798