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Relationship between transducer type and low-frequency hearing loss for patients with ventilation tubes

Authors
Journal
International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
0165-5876
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
70
Issue
6
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2005.11.001
Keywords
  • Ventilation Tubes
  • Insert Earphones
  • Headphones
  • Pediatric Audiology

Abstract

Summary Objective To determine the relationship between the type of transducer used to perform pure-tone audiometry and the appearance of low-frequency hearing loss at 250 Hz and 500 Hz for patients with ventilation tubes. Methods Air conduction thresholds at 250 Hz and 500 Hz were measured using Telephonics TDH-49 supra-aural headphones and EARTONE 3-A insert earphones for patients with normal ears ( N = 16) and patients with ventilation tubes ( N = 114). Tympanometry was performed on each patient prior to audiometric testing. Audiometric test results obtained in normal ears were compared to results for patients with ventilation tubes. For analysis, the ventilation tube patients were separated into two groups, representative of ventilation tube type. Results Audiometric results obtained using the two transducer types at 250 Hz and 500 Hz revealed significant differences in threshold for patients with ventilation tubes. Thresholds obtained using insert earphones were generally worse than thresholds obtained using supra-aural headphones for this group. On average, difference in threshold was 14.15 dB worse with insert earphones at 250 Hz and 9.75 dB worse with insert earphones at 500 Hz for patients with Sheehy tubes. Average difference in threshold for patients with Donaldson tubes was 13.93 dB worse with insert earphones at 250 Hz and 8.93 dB worse with insert earphones at 500 Hz. In addition, thresholds were more variable for patients with ventilation tubes than normal ears at 500 Hz. There were no significant differences in threshold for normal ears using both transducers. Conclusions When performing pure-tone audiometry, choice of transducer can influence the accurate identification of a low-frequency hearing loss in patients with ventilation tubes. Low-frequency thresholds were generally worse using insert-style earphones to test subjects with tubes, resulting in the apparent identification of a hearing loss. However, with supra-aural headphones, no low-frequency hearing loss existed. There were no significant differences in threshold values using either transducer in normal ears.

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