It’s been almost thirty years since I administered a word recognition test (back then it was called speech discrimination). In many ways, not much has changed. The majority of audiologists continue to administer 25-word WR test lists via monitored live voice (MLV) at a single sensation level to determine if the WR scores are consistent with the audiometric configurations of each ear, the type of hearing loss, and if the results are symmetrical. Our otolaryngology colleagues use the results of the WR test as one variable to decide if the patient should be referred for an MRI. In fact, the American Academy of Otolaryngology has published guidelines to determine when asymmetry in cases of SNHL warrant an MRI (more on that later).
Just like cars, all calibration companies are not the same. With cars, some are prestigious, others are economical and some even park themselves. Calibration companies also have different features. Here are some things to look for from your calibration company.
Topics: Calibration and Service
No we are not talking about your retirement, but have you planned for what you will do when it is time to retire your audiometric equipment? We all have our favorites that have served us well. Recently I saw numerous comments listed on a popular social media site mourning the passing of a colleague’s audiometer. In fact I was a bit surprised at how many comments there were regarding all of the long since discontinued models and the questions of what they would do if their equipment would need to be replaced. This leads me to ask you, “Are you prepared?”
As audiology professionals, we know the importance of proper maintenance and care of equipment. Proper upkeep will preserve your equipment for many years. This includes having certified technicians calibrate and perform routine and preventative maintenance. Here is a list of things that can be done to care for and maintain your equipment between calibrations.
Topics: Calibration and Service
I have been involved with real ear measurement (REM) since it was first introduced in the late 1980s. Certainly hearing aids and measurement systems have come a long way since then. Today we are seeing many dispensing clinics make real ear measurement the center of the practice. Let me share with you some of the ways that REM can make a real difference in your practice (pun intended).
As an owner of a private practice, you always need to be thinking of ways you can set yourself apart from the competition. At least that’s how Dr. Alison Vega of Ascent Audiology & Hearing of Olympia sees it. Day in and day out, she racks her brain on ways she can communicate reasons why existing and new patients should choose her practice over her competitors.
Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Vega about her competition in the space and how she differentiates her practice.
“Why should I spend the extra money on binocular video goggles? What can they offer that monocular video goggles can’t?” This is a question that we at Micromedical receive frequently from physical therapists. And for good reason, too. When it comes to choosing between two products that seemingly perform the same function, it’s crucial to understand exactly what you’re getting with that extra cost.
As in any profession, introducing new technologies is going to be an uphill battle. Human beings are naturally resistant change, regardless of how much better or easier it can make their lives. And who can blame us? Generally, change requires adding more work on top of what we already have on our plates. The thought of this extra work is so daunting that we often lose sight of the fact that the change will help us do our jobs more efficiently when all is said and done.
With the advent of cell phones and high speed internet, terms like "broadband" and "wideband" have become ubiquitous in our society. The practical applications afforded by these technologies touch nearly every aspect of modern life, so it's hardly surprising that they've recently permeated the practice of audiology with two exciting wideband developments: a .4cc wideband coupler and Wideband Tympanometry (WBT).
Among audiologists, the use of newer sound therapies for tinnitus can be a controversial topic. For decades, the use of Tinnitus Retraining Therapy has been shown to be a moderately successfully approach for inducing the habituation response in tinnitus sufferers.1 Newer sound therapies, however, purport to directly lower the volume of a patient’s tinnitus tone.2 Researchers have hypothesized that sustained listening to specific sound therapies results in neuroplastic changes in the brain that can reduce tinnitus tone volume.2 In general, however, research in this space has been limited by small sample sizes and a lack of high quality randomized controlled trials.5