Claus Nielsen

Research Audiologist

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Until the early 2000’s, hearing-aid users’ issues with own voice were entirely dominated by problems caused by the occlusion effect. Then open fittings became widely available, and occlusion-related problems were drastically reduced. But users still had concerns about their own voice.

A long-standing interest

Eriksholm’s interest in own voice is long standing. Initially we studied the occlusion effect and how to combat it, e.g. with Completely In the Canal (CIC) hearing aids that seal in the innermost bony part of the ear canal. Later, when open fittings had conquered the market – and everybody expected own-voice problems to disappear – we realised that own-voice issues persisted.


Own-voice issues besides occlusion

A number of studies have mapped out the own-voice issues that remain once occlusion problems have been dealt with. One of the challenges was that hearing-aid users very rarely discuss their own-voice issues with other people – partly because non-users of hearing-aids are completely oblivious to these problems. The culmination to this line of work was the construction of the Own Voice Qualities (OVQ) questionnaire. Further research has focused on the specific issue of own-voice level control.

Further reading

Carle R, Laugesen S, Nielsen C (2002). Observations on the relations among occlusion effect, compliance, and vent size. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 13(1), p. 25-37.

Laugesen S, Jensen NS, Maas P, Nielsen C (2011). Own Voice Qualities (OVQ) in hearing-aid users. There is more than just occlusion. International journal of audiology, 50(4), p. 226-236.

Laugesen S, Nielsen C, Maas P, Jensen NS (2008). Observations on hearing-aid user's strategies for controlling the level of their own voice. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 20(8), p. 503-513.