Comparison of Audiometric Screening Criteria for the Identification of Noise-Induced Hearing Loss in Adolescents

University of Northern Colorado, Audiology & Speech-Language Sciences, Campus Box 140, Greeley, CO 80639, USA.
American Journal of Audiology (Impact Factor: 1.28). 12/2007; 16(2):S190-202. DOI: 10.1044/1059-0889(2007/023)
Source: PubMed


To ascertain whether current pure-tone school hearing screening criteria used across the United States are adequate for the early identification of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) in adolescents.
School-based pure-tone hearing screening protocols were collected, reviewed, and consolidated from 46 state agencies. A retrospective categorical analysis of air-conduction audiometric thresholds from a computerized database of 9th-grade (n = 376) and 12th-grade (n = 265) students from a suburban high school was conducted. The database analysis was designed to determine whether each screening protocol would identify high-frequency notched audiometric configurations suggestive of NIHL when using the noise notch criteria described by A. S. Niskar et al. (2001).
All of the school-based hearing screening criteria identified significantly (p <or= .05) fewer students with a high-frequency notch (HFN) than the noise notch protocol regardless of screening decibel level specified. Over half of the school-based hearing screening protocols used in the United States will identify only 22% of the students with an HFN and consequently would fail to detect a potential NIHL.
Currently implemented school-based hearing screening guidelines are nonstandardized and inadequate for the early identification of NIHL. This denies the majority of students the opportunity to receive early intervention and to prevent further progression of NIHL. It is necessary to identify, standardize, and implement effective and efficient screening or monitoring programs for the early detection and prevention of NIHL in adolescents.

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    • "Furthermore, the study conducted by Meinke and Dice [17] revealed that schoolbased hearing screening guidelines in the United States are non-standardized and inadequate for the early detection of noise-induced hearing loss among adolescents. It is still necessary to have an efficient and effective hearing screening program for the early detection and prevention of noise-induced hearing loss in adolescents [16] [17] . "
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    ABSTRACT: Hearing screening is important for the early detection of hearing loss. The requirements of specialized equipment, skilled personnel, and quiet environments for valid screening results limit its application in schools and health clinics. This study aimed to develop an automated hearing screening kit (auto-kit) with the capabi lity of realtime noise level monitoring to ensure that the screening is performed in an environment that conforms to the standard. The auto-kit consists of a laptop, a 24-bit resolution sound card, headphones, a microphone, and a graphical user interface, which is calibrated according to the American National Standards Institute S3.6-2004 standard. The auto-kit can present four test tones (500, 1000, 2000, and 4000 Hz) at 25 or 40 dB HL screening cut-off level. The clinical results at 40 dB HL screening cut-off level showed that the auto-kit has a sensitivity of 92.5 % and a specificity of 75.0%. Because the 500 Hz test tone is not included in the standard hearing screening procedure, it can be excluded from the auto-kit test procedure. The exclusion of 500 Hz test tone improved the specificity of the autokit from 75.0 % to 92.3 %, which suggests that the auto-kit could be a valid hearing screening device. In conclusion, the auto-kit may be a valuable hearing screening tool, especially in countries where resources are limited.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2012 · Biomedizinische Technik/Biomedical Engineering
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    • "Estimating the prevalence of hearing loss among children and adolescents has been a longstanding goal given the need to allocate resources appropriately to support hearingimpaired school-based populations (for reviews, see Lundeen, 1991; Holmes et al., 2004; Meinke & Dice, 2007; Ross et al., 2010). Normative data from pediatric and older adult populations are readily available (for recent review, see Pascolini & Smith, 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: We report pure-tone hearing threshold findings in 56 college students. All subjects reported normal hearing during telephone interviews, yet not all subjects had normal sensitivity as defined by well-accepted criteria. At one or more test frequencies (0.25-8 kHz), 7% of ears had thresholds ≥25 dB HL and 12% had thresholds ≥20 dB HL. The proportion of ears with abnormal findings decreased when three-frequency pure-tone-averages were used. Low-frequency PTA hearing loss was detected in 2.7% of ears and high-frequency PTA hearing loss was detected in 7.1% of ears; however, there was little evidence for 'notched' audiograms. There was a statistically reliable relationship in which personal music player use was correlated with decreased hearing status in male subjects. Routine screening and education regarding hearing loss risk factors are critical as college students do not always self-identify early changes in hearing. Large-scale systematic investigations of college students' hearing status appear to be warranted; the current sample size was not adequate to precisely measure potential contributions of different sound sources to the elevated thresholds measured in some subjects.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2011 · International journal of audiology
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    • "Several researchers (Cooley Hidecker 2008; Deconde Johnson & Meinke 2008; Folmer 2008; Holmes et al. 1997; Meinke & Dice 2007; Niskar et al. 1998, 2001) have reported that the prevalence of NIHL is inceasing among teenagers attending secondary schools (i.e., middle and high schools) in the USA. Athough these NIHLs may be classified as " minimal " hearing losses, they can hinder language, behavioral, academic, and social development of some teenagers (Bess et al. 1998; Ross et al. 2008; Yoshinaga-Itano et al. 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: Several researchers have suggested the prevalence of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is increasing among secondary school students. Causes include exposure to loud music and toys, firearms, power tools, fireworks, snowmobiles, Jet Skis, motorcycles and, especially, personal stereo systems (e.g., iPods, MP3 players, CD players) played at loud volumes. Although teachers and audiologists in some school districts have addressed this problem, many secondary schools do not have personnel with adequate time and expertise to educate students about protecting their hearing. The purpose of this study was to develop, implement, and evaluate a hearing conservation program offered during recruitment of local, high school students to a USA university. Specifically, faculty in the university's College of Health Professions offered 20-minute presentations about their discipline during open houses to recruit high school students. This included two audiologists from the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) who presented 32, interactive, hearing conservation sessions to about 800 students divided into groups of 10 to 30 students. The presentation was entitled,"You Only Have Two Ears: Protecting Hearing of Teenagers." Each group learned about basic anatomy of the ear, listened to a recorded simulation of NIHL; tried different hearing protection devices; and measured sound intensities of their personal stereo systems. Verbal and written comments by students indicated improvements in their knowledge and attitudes toward protecting their hearing. We are continuing and refining this hearing conservation program to educate local secondary school students about protecting their hearing while simultaneously recruiting some of them into their programs.
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