Training in Wideband Tympanometry

Comparison of Wideband Tympanometry results in children who pass and refer new born hearing screening

10 mins
07 February 2022


Summary of: Voss, S. E., Herrmann, B. S., Horton, N. J., Amadei, E. A., & Kujawa, S. G. (2016). Reflectance Measures from Infant Ears With Normal Hearing and Transient Conductive Hearing LossEar and hearing37(5), 560–571.

Since the introduction of universal new-born hearing screening (UNHS) research has shown that a large number of babies (90%) that fail screening at birth subsequently pass a more detailed hearing assessment at follow-up. This article proposes the use of wideband acoustic measurements such as power reflectance to detect transient middle ear conditions or wax / debris that can be a source of failure to pass a new-born hearing screening. In this study a total of 30 babies who had a unilateral hearing fail in a UNHS had additional acoustic measurements conducted a 1 day and repeated at 1 month when the new-borns attended for a detailed diagnostic hearing assessment. The study concluded the power reflectance measures are significantly different for ears that pass new-born hearing screening, and ears that refer with middle ear transient conditions. There are several issues that can affect middle ear measurements, such as probes against the ear canal, poor acoustic seal, and other mechanical issues. A preliminary data selection criteria (DSC) is proposed to validate these measures in new-borns. Further research may help develop criteria that can be employed to make decisions on when to offer a further screen, when the transient middle ear condition has resolved, before requiring a more detailed and time consuming diagnostic hearing assessment.


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