Hearing and Hearing Aids
The most sensitive and specific measures for hearing assessment today are unchanged from the techniques used for the past 50 years. At Mayo Clinic, researchers are trying to answer the remaining question of which transducer (earphone) to use when a patient has an eardrum perforation or has had a variety of ear surgeries. The purpose of this ongoing study is to investigate which earphone (supra-aural or insert) provides the most accurate measure of hearing sensitivity for individuals with pathological ears. The outcome will help audiologists use the most appropriate earphone for hearing assessments in the future.
Related to hearing aids, there are a number of ongoing research projects in the Mayo Clinic Hearing Aid Program. These projects are being conducted as quality-assurance measures to improve patient outcomes and clinical practice, and include:
- Conducting annual surveys of patients who have obtained hearing aids during the previous year to measure their satisfaction with their hearing aids, audiologist, services and use information
- Determining whether there is a relationship among several patient characteristics, hearing aid use patterns and hearing aid returns
- Investigating the effects of probe tubes on feedback control settings, and whether the presence of the probe tube reduces the available gain because of lower feedback limits
- Tracking hearing aid repair rates for all manufacturers and examining trends regarding manufacturer, hearing aid style and hearing aid circuit
- Examining ear mold remake and modification rates for various manufacturers, styles, materials, and degrees and configurations of hearing loss