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PTSD, patient satisfaction, hearing aids, post-traumatic stress disorder, veterans


Individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) often have trouble re-integrating into everyday life. They can be awkward in or avoid social situations leading to social isolation. For those with PTSD, hearing problems may exacerbate the difficulty they experience in social situations. The patients we studied all have a normal hearing threshold but still complain of hearing difficulties, which could be due to the hyperarousal symptoms they are experiencing. These people may be fit with hearing aids to aid their hearing loss, but their PTSD may not be considered when the hearing aids are programmed. The fitting of hearing aids’ goal is to provide audibility, but the aids may also increase the amount of undesired auditory input. Due to auditory hypervigilance, the term used to describe difficulty in processing auditory signals by veterans with PTSD, patients with PTSD may be more aware of the undesired sounds in an environment. Those with PTSD report that they are not able to focus on a desired auditory signal, such as a person talking, in the presence of background noises. This could be exacerbated with the fitting of hearing aids due to the enhanced auditory information provided by the hearing devices to aid in hearing. Our study conducted two test the Loudness Discomfort Levels, and the tap rate to see if hearing aids could increase the hyperarousal symptoms of PTSD and in turn create a lower satisfaction rate among the veteran population with PTSD.

First Advisor

Lindsey Jorgensen

Research Area

Communication Sciences & Disorders