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The expression ‘less is more’ is not always true. In healthcare, where the output is directly related to the input, the idea that one can yield a greater output with less input is both unreasonable and illogical. In this case, ‘more is more’. But what if we flipped the script and proposed the phrase ‘more is less’. This idea, commonly known as the economies of scales, dates back to the 1700’s. This principle explains the advantages obtained when goods are purchased in large quantities and forms the basis of health care solutions for the masses.
What could possibly be in common between astronauts living on the International Space Station (ISS) and people eking out a living in rural sub-Saharan Africa? It’s not just isolation that joins these two sets of seemingly contrasting faces of humanity. Ironically enough, it is access to high-quality hearing health care.
The main purpose of the sound booth is to attenuate/block sound. It does this very well. So it is understandable that the audiological booth is still a popular piece of equipment in audiometry. This is changing however.
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 Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA), the South African National Standard (SANS), the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) insist on having equipment calibrated and checked on a routine basis.
Therefore, everyone must calibrate audiometers to ensure that they comply with their country/state’s regulations and ensure testing accuracy.
While amongst most clinicians, the need for regular audiometry calibration is understood, some have viewed regular calibration as an unnecessary and avoidable task.
I (author) wrote an article a while back on why the calibration of your audiometer is the key to accurate results. This article focused on what calibration is, and why it is important in ensuring that you yield accurate and reliable audiometric measures.
This is it, the top contender! Are you ready for it?
Breath in.. Breath out..
Most clinicians break out in a cold sweat when it comes to masking in audiology. “Am I doing this correctly, is it effective?”. Take a deep breath and look no further.
To understand it, we must first understand the science and reasoning behind masking in audiology. We must also cover some of the related concepts such as interaural attenuation (IA) and the occlusion effect (OE). You may already know these terms, but let’s see if we can shed a little light on how they all work together.