04 January 2015 : Clinical Research
Med Sci Monit 2015; 21:36-43
BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to evaluate the repeatability and variability of TEOAE characteristics in hearing screening tests performed under practical conditions on normal subjects.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: A group of 11 young, normal-hearing subjects aged 19–24 years was tested. They were examined otologically and audiologically prior to the tests and no ear pathologies were found. Responses were acquired with a commercially available instrument (Integrity, Vivosonic Inc.) using a standardized OAE protocol. The TEOAE tests were repeated 3 times in each subject at random intervals within 24 h. The analyzed parameters of interest were: (i) whole wave reproducibility (WWR) and; (ii) signal-to-noise ratio (SNR).
RESULTS: WWR and SNR did not differ significantly among the 3 measurement sessions. In most cases the differences in WWR among measurements were around 1–2% and for SNRs they were 1–4 dB SNRs and were highest in the 1–2 kHz range. TEOAE-based tests can be useful tools for hearing screening.
CONCLUSIONS: The tests can give reliable results provided that adequate procedures are used and low-noise conditions are ensured. The tests are best complemented with other examinations to widen the range of ear pathologies able to be detected.
Keywords: Acoustic Stimulation - methods, Acoustic Impedance Tests - standards, Audiometry - methods, Audiometry, Pure-Tone, Auditory Threshold - physiology, Hearing, Hearing Loss, Sensorineural, Hearing Tests, Mass Screening, Otoacoustic Emissions, Spontaneous - physiology, Reproducibility of Results, signal-to-noise ratio, young adult
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