Training in OAE

Pressurizing the distortion product otoacoustic emission (DPOAE)

10 mins
08 February 2022


Summary of: Zebian, M., Schirkonyer, V., Hensel, J., Vollbort, S., Fedtke, T., & Janssen, T. (2013). Distortion product otoacoustic emissions upon ear canal pressurizationThe Journal of the Acoustical Society of America133(4), EL331–EL337.

Distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) are an objective method for evaluating the integrity of the cochlea; however, middle-ear dysfunction can attenuate the DPOAE response including cases where peak middle-ear pressure deviates from ambient pressure.  The effect of deviant middle-ear pressure mostly affects the DPOAE response at frequencies below 1 to 2 kHz.  Amongst 12 ototogically normal young adults, the objective of this study was twofold: 1) to quantify the change in DPOAE level across a range (-200 to +200 daPa) of static pressures applied in the ear canal, and 2) to determine the slope of level change across this range in 50 daPa steps. Generally, DPOAEs were largest at 0 daPa for all frequencies of 1, 2, 3 and 4 kHz, and the overall mean DPOAE level reduced by 2.3 dB for each 50 daPa deviation away from ambient pressure.  This suggests that accounting for positive or negative pressure in the middle-ear may facilitate the evaluation of cochlear integrity via OAEs in cases that would otherwise preclude OAE detection. The Titan has the ability to measure DPOAEs while also accounting for the presence of deviant middle-ear pressure.


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