Research Article  |   June 2012
Survey of Audiological Immittance Practices
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Olivia E. C. Henson
    ENT and Allergy Specialists of VA, Ashburn
  • Rita R. Knapp
    Towson University, Towson, MD
Hearing Disorders / Research Article
Research Article   |   June 2012
Survey of Audiological Immittance Practices
American Journal of Audiology June 2012, Vol.21, 60-75. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2012/11-0037)
History: Accepted 04 Feb 2012 , Received 29 Nov 2011
American Journal of Audiology June 2012, Vol.21, 60-75. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2012/11-0037)
History: Accepted 04 Feb 2012 , Received 29 Nov 2011

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine current immittance practices and trends over time, reasons why multifrequency (MF) and multicomponent (MC) tympanometry have been underused, and the prevalence of negative patient reactions to acoustic reflex (AR) testing.

Method: Two audiological practice surveys were conducted regarding tympanometry (2008, n = 156) and AR (2009, n = 90).

Results: Most respondents conduct tympanometry and AR threshold (ART) testing. MF and MC tympanometry were rarely reported, generally due to a lack of equipment and training. ART testing was reported most often using both ipsilateral and contralateral presentation. Contralateral testing has decreased over time. Patient complaints of discomfort following AR testing were common. Complaints of tinnitus or hearing loss were present, although rare.

Conclusion: Tympanometry and ART tests have remained popular for the past 30 years, whereas acoustic reflex decay (ARD) testing has decreased in popularity. MF and MC tympanometry are conducted infrequently. AR is frequently associated with discomfort but rarely associated with other symptoms. However, one respondent reported that AR testing had caused permanent tinnitus and hearing loss.

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