Asymmetrical hearing loss is not always taken seriously by healthcare professionals outside of audiology -
"It can be a tumour"!
Asymmetrical hearing loss is of important diagnostic interest as it has implications on the treatment, surgery and rehabilitation of the patient. Most clinicians have had a patient showing an asymmetric hearing loss on their audiogram (check out our previous blog post on How to Read an Audiogram), bringing forward questions such as: is this worth a referral? Asymmetrical hearing loss is defined as a hearing loss that is significantly worse in one ear compared to the other. But how much worse is significantly worse?
While hearing loss is defined as partial or total inability to hear sounds with one or both ears, it is much more complex than that. To that end, a lot of research has been done and an important number of standards have been written regarding the topic of hearing loss. This vast amount of information has served to better classify hearing loss, to reduce the complexity of its definition and to assist clinicians in uniform diagnosis of hearing loss.
Each person has their own method of building a puzzle. Generally, you begin with the edges because they are the quickest to identify. One should approach screening and diagnosis in the same fashion, piece by piece discovering the overall picture. As a healthcare professional, you will need your patient to be thoroughly prepared for an audiometric test. This will include a comprehensive case history and an otoscopic examination.
Most people understand the difference between a wrench and a screwdriver, but this does not qualify them to be a mechanic. Car owners know that without regular maintenance by a qualified mechanic, their car will in time, breakdown. Nobody wants to be stranded with a broken car in the middle of nowhere. Similarly, you do not want your equipment to fail in front of a patient. Awkward…
Just as your car has a service plan with scheduled maintenance, so should your audiometer.
On account of the exciting launch of the KUDUwave TMP, our previous blog post covered the importance of tympanometry in every hearing healthcare setting.
With the KUDUwave TMP, a clinician can conduct automatic and manual (pressure change) tympanometry assessments, and ipsilateral and contralateral acoustic reflex measurements (with pure tones and broad-band noise).
When you get in the field, setting up your own practice can be challenging if you don't know a lot about the tools of the trade. Your audiometer is going to be one of the most important tools for diagnosing and treating issues.
Here is what you need to think about when you're considering buying one.
The most commonly used test for evaluating auditory sensitivity among people of almost all-ages is pure tone audiometry. This method has been proven to be reliable in measuring hearing, especially in adults. While pure tone audiometry can be used in very young children and in adults, it is unreliable when used to test children or adults who may not understand instructions.
While the general population are unlikely to attempt to malinger or exaggerate their hearing loss, the prevalence of nonorganic hearing loss (NOHL) is much higher when secondary gains are expected. For example, much research has reported a higher prevalence of audiometry malingering in industrial workers and military personnel.
Customers are the lifeblood of any business whether established or new. While Audiologists and doctors will be focused on patients occupational/industrial health companies will be looking for clients (who have patients). Either way, you need more of them.
Pure tone and speech audiometry go hand in hand and are a vital combination in hearing health assessment and management. Speech audiometry is used to assess a patient’s sensitivity to speech as well as clarity to speech heard. Used in conjunction with pure-tone audiometry, speech testing is integral in quantifying benefit from amplification and in determining audiological management decisions (i.e. consideration of alternative hearing amplification devices)...
The audiometric booth has long been the standard in audiometry and for good reason. Without it, we would not have the sound blocking that makes accurate hearing assessment possible as noise would interfere with the tones presented and patients would not be able to respond correctly.
So, why don’t you own your own practice? Why can’t you see more patients every day? Can’t you find ways of better managing your time? Why do I have to go somewhere else for another hearing test? Can’t you use the results of the hearing screening?
Binaural hearing, or simply put, the ability to hear with both ears helps us to localize sounds, be aware of your surroundings, hear better in background noise (when one has normal hearing), perceive better sound quality, and strain less when listening.
Age-related hearing loss (presbycusis) is the most prevalent sensory impairment in the elderly. Approximately one in three adults between the ages of 65 and 74 have some degree of hearing loss, while almost half of those older than 75 experience hearing problems.
We spent the first few years of their lives willing them to sleep. We hunted down the perfect pacifier and spent a fortune for curtains with block-out, all in the hope that they would sleep. And now, we can’t get them out of bed.
Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) is nothing new and has been around for some time, but Google’s recent launch of Live Transcribe has brought ASR back into the spotlight, proving that with any technology one only has to blink and there is a new development, a better version, a more cutting edge app.
Regulations and standards that cover the use of audiometers exist globally. While some differ, most, if not all, require that the equipment is calibrated and maintained regularly and records are kept for auditing.
The festive season is here. Masses will be outdoors with family, friends and loved ones celebrating this merry season. Music, concerts, parades, fireworks are the highlight of the festive fun, and don’t forget holiday shopping! There is no reason to not join in the fun, to listen to some Frank Ocean or Queen or to do some holiday toy shopping for the children. However, it is important to be mindful on how to protect your ears during this festive season.