BACKGROUND: speech perception of elderly, in silence and in the presence of background noise. AIM: to characterize and compare the hearing abilities of elderly in a monaural speech perception test, in the presence and absence of background noise (Speech Discrimination Test - SDT and Speech Perception in Noise - SPIN). METHOD: Participants of this study were 55 subjects of both genders, 60 years old or above, distributed in two groups: Control Group (CG), constituted by elders with no hearing loss and Study Group (SG), constituted by elders with symmetrical sensorineural hearing loss. The SPIN test was used, initially with the presentation of a word list in silence and later in the presence of Speech Noise. RESULTS: no difference was observed between genders in the SDT and the SPIN test. Correlation with age was observed only in the SDT for SG. A significant difference was observed when comparing the performance of the groups in the SDT and SPIN test. Regarding the presence of substitutions in the articulation of words, it was observed that it occurred in both groups and was more frequent in SPIN test, especially for the SG. CONCLUSION: the presence of the noise during the production of speech sounds is disadvantageous for elders, independently of the presence of hearing loss, but having a higher impact for those with hearing loss problems.
Aged; Auditory Perception; Speech Discrimination Tests; Presbycusis