Audiology In Brief The Words-in-Noise (WIN) test was developed to quantify adults’ ability to understand speech amid a background of multitalker babble. Although WIN can be used with children as young as 6 years old, age-specific ranges of normal recognition performance must be used. Audiologist Richard Wilson and colleagues at East Tennessee ... News in Brief
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News in Brief  |   October 01, 2010
Audiology In Brief
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Hearing Disorders / News in Brief
News in Brief   |   October 01, 2010
Audiology In Brief
The ASHA Leader, October 2010, Vol. 15, 5. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB.15122010.5
The ASHA Leader, October 2010, Vol. 15, 5. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB.15122010.5
Age Differences in Word Recognition in Noise
The Words-in-Noise (WIN) test was developed to quantify adults’ ability to understand speech amid a background of multitalker babble. Although WIN can be used with children as young as 6 years old, age-specific ranges of normal recognition performance must be used. Audiologist Richard Wilson and colleagues at East Tennessee State University sought to establish normative data for children ages 6–12 years old on the WIN test. They presented the test to seven groups of 42 children ages 6–12 (for a total of 294 children) with noise at 70 and 90 dB SPL and found that the greatest change in recognition performance occurs between ages 6 and 7. Performance is stable from ages 9 to 12 years, and improves slightly in young adults ages 18–27 years old. The research suggests that the poorer performance by the 6-year-olds may be due to an immature auditory system with reduced ability to segregate words from noise. The research appears in Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research (Papers in Press).
Personal Music Players and Teen Hearing Loss
The use of personal music players—and hearing loss—are more common among teenagers, according to a 24-year study of 8,710 teenage girls conducted by audiologists Abbey Berg and Yula Serpanos. The study found that from 1985 to 2008, the rate of mild or greater degrees of high-frequency hearing loss in at least two frequencies including 3000, 4000 and 6000 Hz in study subjects nearly doubled from 10.1% to 19.2%. Personal music-player use was first studied beginning in 2001; from that year to 2008, personal music player use rose fourfold, from 18.3% to 76.4%. During those same years, high-frequency hearing loss increased 54% from 12.4% to 19.2%, and the proportion of girls reporting tinnitus nearly tripled, from 4.6% to 12.5%. Overall, girls using personal music players were 80% more likely to have hearing loss than those who did not. In addition, all but one of 286 the teens reporting tinnitus used a personal music player. The research appears in the Journal of Adolescent Health (Articles in Press).
Demographic Disparities in Ear Infections
Racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities exist among children who experience frequent ear infections, according to a cross-sectional study in the August issue of The Laryngoscope. The study found that children from households below the poverty level had a higher incidence (8%) of frequent ear infections than children from families above the poverty level, even after results were adjusted for race and ethnicity. The researchers also found that 7% of white children had frequent ear infections, a rate higher than for any other ethnic group. According to Nina Shapiro, an otolaryngologist at the University of Los Angeles, possible explanations for the variations include anatomic differences, cultural factors, disparate access to health care, or that “white children are overdiagnosed and non-white children are underdiagnosed.”
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October 2010
Volume 15, Issue 12