A review of the perceptual effects of hearing loss for frequencies above 3 kHz
International Journal of Audiology
Taylor & Francis
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Moore, B. (2016). A review of the perceptual effects of hearing loss for frequencies above 3 kHz. International Journal of Audiology, 55 704-714. https://doi.org/10.1080/14992027.2016.1204565
Background: Hearing loss caused by exposure to intense sounds usually has its greatest effects on audiometric thresholds at 4 and 6 kHz. However, in several countries compensation for occupational noise-induced hearing loss is calculated using the average of audiometric thresholds for selected frequencies up to 3 kHz, based on the implicit assumption that hearing loss for frequencies above 3 kHz has no material adverse consequences. This paper assesses whether this assumption is correct. Design: Studies are reviewed that evaluate the role of hearing for frequencies above 3 kHz. Results: Several studies show that frequencies above 3 kHz are important for the perception of speech, especially when background sounds are present. Hearing at high frequencies is also important for sound localisation, especially for resolving front-back confusions. Conclusions: Hearing for frequencies above 3 kHz is important for the ability to understand speech in background sounds and for the ability to localise sounds. The audiometric threshold at 4 kHz and perhaps 6 kHz should be taken into account when assessing hearing in a medico-legal context.
hearing loss, noise exposure, high frequencies, speech perception, sound localization
The work of the author is supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (UK, grant number RG78536).
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External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14992027.2016.1204565
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/256758