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Diagnostics

Diagnostics

JAAA Latest Fast Track Articles—August 20, 2019

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Correction Factors and Predicting Hearing Loss from ABR

McCreery et al (2015) report that results from auditory brainstem response (ABR) of 309 ears (from 177 children) with respect to how the degree of hearing loss impacts the prediction of behavioral thresholds. Historically, it has been shown that as hearing loss increases, ABR thresholds increase, too. However, the previously established relationships have been imperfect.

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Tinnitus Functional Index

The Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) was reported by Henry et al (2014). They report five stages of TFI development through which prototypes were developed, tested, and revised over a four-year period. The TFI has eight subscales that address the intrusiveness of tinnitus, the sense of control the patient has, cognitive interference, sleep disturbance, auditory issues, relaxation issues, quality of life, and emotional distress.

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Tinnitus Primary Function Questionnaire

Tyler et al (2014) have developed a new questionnaire, the Tinnitus Primary Function Questionnaire (TPFQ,) for use with tinnitus patients. The TPFQ focuses on the primary handicaps related to tinnitus. Although each person manifests tinnitus uniquely, the primary activities impaired by tinnitus are (1) thoughts and emotions (including depression and anxiety), (2) sleep difficulties, (3) hearing difficulties, and (4) concentration.

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Inter-Octave Frequencies

 Wilson and McArdle (2014) report that for more than 50 years, audiologists and dispensers have been taught if the octave frequencies (250, 500, 1000, 2000, 4000, and 8000 Hz) provide thresholds that are less than 20 dB apart, there is no need to test the inter-octave-frequencies (750, 1500, 3000, and 6000 Hz). This clinical protocol is called the “20 dB Rule.”  Despite Wilson and McArdle’s (exhaustive) search, they found little supporting scientific data as to the origin of the 20 dB Rule.

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Remote Microphones, Normal Hearing, and APD

Keith and Purdy (2014) report that "remote microphone hearing aids are hybrid radio and hearing aid systems designed for children with normal peripheral hearing…". They state that FM systems are increasingly being replaced by digital modulation wireless technologies. The authors report that published evidence and their own personal experience suggests the majority of children with auditory processing disorder (APD) benefit from amplification with remote microphone hearing aids.

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Tinnitus Etiology and Perceived Pitch

Zagolski and Strek (2014) report that tinnitus pitch and minimum masking level (MML) are dependent on the etiology of the tinnitus—MML is defined as the level at which tinnitus was just rendered inaudible and defined in dB SL. They report on 405 adults with a mean age of 51 years (range 17 to 85 yrs), including 195 females and 210 males. Two hundred and twenty (220) people reported bilateral tinnitus and 185 reported unilateral tinnitus, resulting in 625 ears with tinnitus. Of note, in 512 ears, tinnitus was described as a pure-tone, in 113 ears, tinnitus was described as pulsing/popping.

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Tinnitus Management 2014: Part One

Fagelson (2014) reports that tinnitus affects some 10 to 15 percent of the population. He reports that there is no relationship between the distress/severity of the perceived tinnitus and auditory sensitivity and indeed, some 50 percent (or more) of tinnitus sufferers have a comorbid psychological injury or illness such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTST), depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, stress, and more.

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NAL vs DSL in Three-Year-Olds

In 2010, Ching et al concluded that to achieve optimum audibility for soft speech, children required more gain than NAL-NL1 prescribed, and to achieve listening comfort in noise, children required less gain than DSLv4.1 prescribed.

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BiCROS in Noise

Oeding and Valente (2013) examined the performance of a bilateral contralateral routing of signal (BiCROS) hearing aid in noise while engaging the receiver and transmitter noise reduction (NR) technology within Unitron’s Tandem 16 (16 channel) BiCROS hearing aid. The authors report that there are few peer-reviewed studies in which the efficacy and effectiveness of BiCROS technology has been examined in background noise. Twenty-one adults experienced with BiCROS participated in the study.

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