CLARIFYING AUDIOMETRIC DESCRIPTORS: THEIR VALUE AND LIMITATIONS

While audiometric descriptors may provide a useful summary of an individual’s hearing thresholds, they should not be used as the sole determinant for the provision of hearing support. The ability to detect pure tones using earphones in a quiet environment is not in itself a reliable indicator of hearing disability and audiometric descriptors alone should not be used as the measure of difficulty experienced with communication in background noise, the primary complain to individuals with hearing loss.

The BSA recommended procedures document ‘Pure Tone Air and Bone Conduction Threshold Audiometry with and without Masking’ has been amended to ensure that the value and limitations of audiometric descriptors are clearly understood.

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