Hearing Screening Online Training Program
American National Standards Institute. A private, non-profit organization (501(c) 3) that administers and coordinates the U.S. voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system. ANSI standards indicate the parameters for audiometer calibration.
Assistive Communication Devices
Devices and systems available to help deaf and hard-of-hearing people improve their communication, adapt to their environment, and function in society more effectively.
A health professional specializing in preventing, identifying, and assessing hearing impairments and related disorders as well as managing any non-medical rehabilitation of individuals with hearing loss.
The eighth cranial nerve (nerve of hearing) that connects the inner ear to the brainstem and that is responsible for the sensations of hearing and balance; it sends signals from the cochlea in the inner ear to the brain.
Automated Auditory Brainstem Response
A non-invasive diagnostic hearing test for children who are otherwise impossible to test. Electrodes are used to evaluate the neurotransmission of auditory stimuli. May also be referred to as Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response (BAER), Brainstem Evoked Potential (BSEP), and Brainstem Evoked Response (BSER).
Child and Teen Checkups (C &
Minnesota's Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) program is called the Child and Teen Checkups (C&TC) Program and is the responsibility of the Department of Human Services. EPSDT is the largest comprehensive and preventive health care program for Medicaid- eligible children and youth from birth to age 21. About 320,000 children under the age of 21 years who are enrolled in Minnesota's Health Care Programs are eligible to receive Child and Teen Checkups and comprehensive health care.
See hair cells.
An electronic medical device surgically implanted to bypass damaged structures in the inner ear and directly stimulate the auditory nerve in order to receive and process sound and speech.
Conductive Hearing Loss
A hearing impairment that exists due to a problem in the external and/or middle ear that keeps sound from being properly conducted to the inner ear (where hearing is still normal). Can usually be treated medically or surgically; hearing aids or other amplifying systems can also help.
A group of herpes viruses that infects humans and can cause a variety of clinical symptoms including deafness or hearing impairment. Infection with this virus may be present either before or after birth.
Logarithmic unit used in audiometry that expresses the intensity or volume of a sound from quiet to loud. The abbreviation “dB” is written after a number to define how loud a sound is. With the dB scale, zero dB does not indicate absence of sound; rather it indicates a minimal level for normal hearing. The greater the decibel number, the louder the sound:
Rock band (also level of discomfort)
90 dB: City traffic or a shout
5 0 dB: Ordinary conversation
30 dB: Very soft whisper
0 dB: Softest sound a young person can hear
Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) Doctor
A small tube that establishes communication between the middle ear space and the back of the throat. Two main functions: equalizing air pressure on both sides of the tympanic membrane and permitting the drainage of fluids from the middle ear.
Sensory cells of the inner ear that transform mechanical energy in the middle ear (from sound waves produced by movement of the ossicles) into nerve impulses sent to the brain that produces the sensation of hearing.
21-25 dB- slight
26-40 dB- mild
41-55 dB- moderate
56-70 dB- moderately severe
71-90 dB- severe
91+ dB- profound
See immitance testing.
The first bone of the ossicular chain in the middle ear. It is attached to the eardrum and resembles a hammer.
A combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss that involves both the middle and inner ear. The conductive hearing loss may be medically treated but the sensorineural hearing loss is usually permanent.
Hearing Loss (NIHL)
Hearing loss (either temporary or permanent) that is caused by either a single exposure to a very loud sound or by repeated exposure to sounds over 90dB over an extended period of time. NIHL damages the sensitive structures of the inner ear.
Consists of "hands on" examination or testing that produces measurable results. An example of objective screening is the OAE.
Organ of hearing in the inner ear located in the cochlea. Contains thousands of hair cells that change mechanical energy into neural energy that is then transmitted via the eighth nerve to the brain.
Three small bones in the middle ear cavity: malleus (hammer), incus (anvil), and stapes (stirrup); their main purpose is to deliver sound vibrations from the tympanic membrane to the cochlea in the inner ear.
Emissions (OAE) Testing
A test that evaluates hearing in infants and young children by analyzing the brain’s responses to sound. When the cochlea is stimulated by audible sound the cochlear hair cells start to vibrate, which in turn produces inaudible sounds (otoacoustic emissions) that echo back into the middle ear and the ear canal.
The portion of the ear from the pinna (auricle) through the external auditory canal to the eardrum (tympanic membrane); sound waves are collected by the pinna, channeled into the external auditory canal, and are transformed into mechanical energy at the tympanic membrane.
A tiny pit in the skin of the helical root (the outer rim of the ear is called the 'helix'; the area where the helix is attached to the face is known as the 'helical root'). This pit (or sinus) is skin-lined and is typically less than one inch deep. These pits can become infected; an infected pit usually presents as a soft or hard swelling at the helical root. Preauricular sinuses are also significant because they can be an indicator of other ear problems.
Equalizing Tubes (PE Tubes)
See ventilation tubes.
Type of hearing loss due to pathology in the cochlea in the inner ear and/or pathology of the 8th auditory nerve (the nerve of hearing). This type of hearing loss is usually irreversible, but the use of hearing aids or cochlear implants can help children hear and develop speech and language.
A growth of skin tissue often seen near the ears or elsewhere on the face or neck that is usually small, soft, and skin-colored. Can be attached by a narrow piece of tissue or can appear as a bump on the skin. Usually cause no discomfort or other symptoms, but can get irritated by clothing rubbing against them. In rare cases, children who have a skin tag(s) can also have a hearing problem.
Consists of information obtained verbally or in writing in response to questions. When performing a subjective hearing screening, these questions would be related to a family history of childhood hearing disability or loss, delay of language acquisition or history of such delay, and a history of repeated otitis media. The child, parent, or guardian must be asked if there are concerns about the child's hearing.
See hearing threshold.
See Ventilation Tubes.
Also known as the eardrum. A thin membrane between the external auditory canal and the middle ear cavity that vibrates in response to sound waves; the vibrations are then transferred to the ossicular chain of bones in the middle ear.
Small plastic or metal tubes inserted through the eardrum to drain fluid from the middle ear cavity and to equalize air pressure in the middle ear; also called PE tubes (pressure equalizing tubes).
Reinforcement Audiometry (VRA)
Subjective method for testing hearing in children between 6 months and 2 years of age. The child is trained to look toward a sound source and is rewarded for giving a correct response to the sound.