Oto Acoustic Emissions Testing
Early Identification of Noise Induced Hearing Loss
Oto Acoustic Emissions As Part Of Your Industrial Hearing Screening
A novel method for early identification of noise induced hearing loss
Conventional testing for hearing, audiometry, will only diagnose a noise induced hearing loss once it has occurred. At this point, it cannot be reversed. It also relies on the patient to advise when they hear the sound and can be subjective upon their ability, whilst also being effected by external factors ie, noise and distraction.
Oto-acoustic emissions are generated by the outer hair cells of the inner ear and travel to the ear canal where they can be recorded with a microphone. They are sensitive to the reductions in outer hair cell function associated with noise induced hearing loss. This form of assessment recognises potential damage within the ear more accurately than audiometry.
Oto-acoustic emissions have at least three potential advantages over audiometry for monitoring purposes:
- The test does not require the active co-operation of the test subject, who must simply sit quietly and tolerate an ear probe.
- The test is quicker, and with new technology may be reduced to a matter of seconds.
- Although a quiet room is required to conduct the test the necessary acoustical specifications are far less stringent than for audiometry.