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Publication Date


Document Type

Honors Project




Audiometry, Deaf infants-Testing, Middle ear, Power reflectance, Infants, Transcient hearing loss, Transcient middle-ear conditions, Newborn hearing screening


Although transient middle-ear conditions (TMECs) (e.g., uid and debris) are common causes of transient hearing loss in newborns, universal newborn hearing screening (UNHS) programs do not distinguish between transient hearing loss due to TMECs and permanent hearing loss at birth. Wideband re ectance (WBR) measures have the potential to provide more complete information about ear status starting at birth. The primary goals of this research were to (1) compare power re ectance between normal-hearing newborn ears and those with TMECs and (2) assess changes in power re ectance over the rst month of life in normal- hearing ears. As part of an ongoing study involving the Massachusetts Eye and Ear In rmary and the Massachusetts General Hospital, WBR measurements were made on 29 healthy newborns (ages 0 to 2 days) who did not pass the state-mandated newborn hearing screening on one or both ears. Measurements were repeated on 25 of the 29 babies at ages 14 to 34 days. All ears were determined to have normal hearing thresholds at the time of follow-up measurements. Thirteen subjects who were determined to have acceptable re ectance measurements on both ears at birth and at follow-up were included in the data analysis. From 1 to 2 kHz and 4 to 6 kHz, ears that referred at birth and passed at follow-up were found to have signi cantly higher power re ectance at birth than ears that passed both sessions. In addition, between 2 to 4 kHz, re ectance signi cantly decreased over the rst month of life in ears that passed at birth. These results suggest that, over the given frequency ranges, (1) ears with TMECs have higher power re ectance than normal-hearing newborn ears and (2) power re ectance decreases over the rst month of life in normal- hearing ears. The results are generally consistent with published data of power re ectance in infant ears with transient conductive loss as well as normal-hearing newborns and one-month olds.




79 p. : col. ill. Honors Project-Smith College, Northampton, Mass., 2010. Includes bibliographical references (p. 55-58)