A male veteran (MV) in his early 50s recently presented to a Veterans Affairs (VA) audiology clinic stating that he had noticed a substantial decrease in his hearing ability following his military service. The MV served in the Navy and in the Army National Guard for a total of 32 years, which included many domestic and international service missions. While deployed to Iraq, he was exposed to a total of three bomb blasts, the most severe of which occurred approximately six years prior to presenting in the VA audiology clinic.
Topic(s): Military Health, Hearing, otoscopy, tympanometry, Acoustic Reflexes, DPOAEs, Audiogram, WRS
Most audiologists probably have encountered a patient who produces within- or among-test discrepancies in audiometric results that have no medical explanation. This phenomenon goes under a multiplicity of terms. In addition to pseudohypacusis, nonorganic hearing loss, and functional hearing loss, there are malingering, dis/simulating, faking, feigning, conversion, hysterical, psychogenic, and more.
Topic(s): false and exaggerated hearing loss (FEHL), Hearing Loss, Psychology, Audiogram, speech-in-noise, dysphonia, spastic dysphonia, spasmodic dysphonia
In the classic movie, “The Wizard of Oz,” Dorothy realizes in order to reach the Emerald City, she must first travel through the dark and unfamiliar Enchanted Forest. Worried that they will be attacked, the Tinman predicts the forest will be filled mostly with “lions and tigers and bears.”
Topic(s): hearing aid, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), personal sound amplification products (PSAPs), over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids, OTC Hearing Aid Act, Technology, Audiogram
Case scenario 1...a 30-something audiologist completed a routine diagnostic assessment of a 35-year-old patient referred by her primary-care physician for rather vague complaints of inconsistent difficulty hearing in certain settings.
The audiologist performed tympanometry, pure-tone audiometry, and phonetically-balanced (PB) word recognition testing at a comfortable loudness level. The patient’s history was unremarkable for any obvious etiologies or risks for hearing loss, although she enjoyed listening to loud music.
Topic(s): Audiologist, Audiogram, Bilateral Hearing Loss, Patient care
During the Eisenhower administration, more than half a century ago, the Third International Congress on Acoustics convened in Stuttgart, Germany. It was a wide-ranging conference covering all areas of psychological, physiological, and physical acoustics. The list of authors from the proceedings is a three-column, three-page Who’s Who that includes many of the most eminent auditory scientists of the day. Some of the familiar names on the roster include Georg von Békésy, Nelson Kiang, S.S. Stevens, Juergen Tonndorf, and Eberhard Zwicker.
Topic(s): Audiogram, Bone Threshold, Hearing