Karyn Storey (USU Graduate Student in Audiology) Receives American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Award for Research

Student researcher, Karen Storey, and research participant conducting research with the KUDUwave Audiometer

Karyn Storey, a second year student in the clinical doctoral program in Audiology was the recipient of a student research travel award for the annual ASHA convention in Chicago, Illinois in November 2013 to present her research: Ambient Noise Impact on Accuracy of Automated Hearing Assessment.

Throughout the world, 275 million people suffer from moderate to profound hearing loss. Hearing loss can be debilitating, causing communication difficulties and consequent isolation and depression. Fortunately, it is also treatable through careful diagnosis, medical care, and the use of amplification. However, of those with hearing loss, 80% live in low and middle income countries where only 3% have access to proper treatment.

GeoAxon Holdings, a South African company, has developed one potential solution to address these difficulties—the KUDUwave Audiometer. This portable hearing assessment unit consists of sound-attenuating headphones that contain a fully functional audiometer inside the headset. A potential benefit of the KUDUwave is that it was designed to use where a sound booth is not available by attenuating background noise and by incorporating monitoring of ambient noise level ws.

The purpose of the study was to investigate the accuracy of pure tone air conduction thresholds obtained by the KUDUwave with background noise present. Twenty-one individuals with normal hearing and ten individuals with hearing loss participated in the study. Ninety-two percent of thresholds obtained with the KUDUwave with background noise present were within 5 dB of those obtained with the clinical audiometer. It was concluded that ambient noise typical of that found in a closed room, did not affect the accuracy of air conduction hearing thresholds obtained with the KUDUwave.

View Karyn Storey's research poster: Accuracy of Automated Hearing Assessment in the Presence of Background Noise [PDF]