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Audiometry Screening Best Practices

Saturday, July 15, 2017 10:16:15 AM Australia/Melbourne

Audiometry Screening Best PracticesIf you’re a regular visitor to Hearlink, you’re familiar with our dedication to providing both e-learning solutions and services for the health industry. This means leveraging valuable partnerships with companies locally and around the world, who share our vision. Today, we’re discussing the science of audiometry. Interpreting audiometry is a complex process, but an incredibly important one. Here are three things to keep in mind during a screening:

 

  1. Identifying issues with hearing loss can be a relatively simple procedure that most properly-trained health professionals can identify. This includes family physicians, especially if the patient reports diminished hearing or if a family or friend notes decreased interaction. Testing becomes especially important when you take into account place of work. Asymmetrical or unilateral hearing loss is very common in those who have served in the military or who frequently hunt.
  2. When a doctor or audiologist suspects hearing loss in a patient, he or she can take advantage of pure-tone audiometry to measure and analyze hearing deficits. They spot-check certain frequencies and evaluate deficits more completely. Pure-tone audiometry can be determined using a tool called an audiometer. Handheld audiometers have a sensitivity of up to 92% and an excellent track record in detecting sensorineural hearing impairment.
  3. Determine what equipment to use early, and educate yourself properly on it. There are multiple audiometers on the market, each with their own benefits. They range from handheld screening audiometers with limited capabilities, to those with full-range extending to much higher frequencies. A good barometer to use is that those used in the office generally look at frequencies between 500Hz to 4,000Hz.

 

Audiometry screening is not to be confused with hearing evaluation. In most cases, a hearing screening is the most preliminary step to defining the quality of hearing of the person being tested and then determining next steps for either a treatment plan or additional testing. Another way to look at it is that a hearing screening is the most simplistic way to determine whether anything is wrong—those screened will either fall into a pass or fail group. If you do move on to audiometry screening, you’re looking at a much more in-depth assessment. This needs to be done by an audiologist, who can provide you the most detailed feedback.

 

If you’re nervous about doctors, as many of our valued customers and patients are, you can kick off the process with a self-screen or test. If you answer yes to any of the following questions, pulled from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, those of us here in Australia strongly recommend getting checked out:

 

  • Do you have a problem hearing over the telephone?
  • Do you hear better through one ear than the other when you are on the telephone?
  • Do you have trouble following the conversation with two or more people talking at the same time?
  • Do people complain that you turn the TV volume up too high?
  • Do you have to strain to understand conversation?
  • Do you have trouble hearing in a noisy background?
  • Do you have trouble hearing in restaurants?
  • Do you have dizziness, pain, or ringing in your ears?
  • Do you find yourself asking people to repeat themselves?
  • Do family members or coworkers remark about your missing what has been said?
  • Do many people you talk to seem to mumble (or not speak clearly)?
  • Do you misunderstand what others are saying and respond inappropriately?
  • Do you have trouble understanding the speech of women and children?
  • Do people get annoyed because you misunderstand what they say?

 

These are just a few of the many best practices to keep in mind when identifying issues with hearing loss. Questions? We’d love to hear from you.

Posted in Industry News By

Hearlink Admin