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.
So…You have planned and documented a business plan for your practice. You have noted the services that you will be providing and now, you need to find an audiometer that meets your needs. Or it may be time to reconsider your current toolset in your current practice. With new options available, it really is the perfect time to contemplate what will work for you and your future plans. You need a device that will suit your program and the services you want to provide.
The main goal of ehealth and in this case, tele-audiology, is to improve access to care, especially for patients in remote areas or for patients who are unable to come to you. To succeed at this, one needs to get the right equipment that will enable you to provide these services to those in need.
Despite overwhelming evidence in support of extended high-frequency testing, many clinicians remain limited to conventional tonal audiometry (125 - 8000 Hz). Normal hearing in the extended high-frequency range is what enables us to hear conversation in loud environments. Without it, communication in these environments becomes very troublesome.
You may be an audiologist considering providing screening services to bring more patients into your practice. You may be a doctor interested in adding hearing testing to your service, or branching out into occupational health. Whichever the case, a common consideration is options that either screening or diagnostic options may offer. In order to make the right decision it is important to know the difference between the two.
Various devices can be used to conduct pure tone audiometry. These can range from conventional standalone audiometers, smartphone based, computer based and even computer controlled audiometers. With such a variety, confusion is inevitable. Many people can’t distinguish between a computer based and computer controlled audiometer - partly because no one ever talks about it. This results in the interchangeable use of the terms.
Surely a ‘computer based audiometer’ is any audiometer that is or can be connected to a computer? No, these devices are completely different and these distinctions will be highlighted below.
Tinnitus can make it difficult for a patient to distinguish between test tones (pure tones) being presented and those generated by their tinnitus. As a result false-positive responses will occur. In effect, the tones presented are masked when the tinnitus is of the same pitch but of a higher intensity than the presented tone. As an unfortunate result, a patient may be misdiagnosed and mismanaged.
Over the years, there's been an increase in the use of insert earphones (IE) in audiometry. Although previously supra-aural headphones were part of standard practice, insert earphones perform the same function. Furthermore, various clinical studies have shown that both transducers yield thresholds within 5dB of each other, validating the use of IE. Inserts are simply a foam earplug with tubing that carries the test signal into the ear.
To follow up the previous post on 6 reasons insert earphones should be the audiometry standard, we've decided to unpack the frequently asked questions on the use of IE.