Welcome to Interacoustics Australia’s first ‘Audiology in Brief’ series.
We will be bringing you brief snippets of education on a range of Audiology topics. Easy to digest and quick to read, we hope these articles will entice you to learn more on the topics presented and expand your audiological knowledge.
Audiology in Brief #1 - Wide Band Tympanometry and Absorbance
You’ve known about Wide Band Tympanometry and Absorbance for a few years now. We even have some significant influencers researching it in Australia, so what’s it all about?
We know Audiologists love a good acronym, so let’s break down the main two you hear when we discuss wideband.
WBT – Wide Band Tympanometry and WBA - Wide Band Absorbance
The ‘wideband’ part of the name Wideband Tympanometry or Absorbance refers to the stimulus, which is a click i.e. a broadband sound.
The tympanometry part is just that, a standard tympanometry test but using the wideband stimulus, giving us a tympanometry view from 226 to 8000Hz. Not just at 226Hz like traditional tympanometry results.
The ‘absorbance’ part of the name refers to how effectively the energy from a click sound is transmitted through the middle ear system.
In a bit more detail …
Wide Band Absorbance (WBA) is measured on a scale from 0 to 1, where 0 is no incident sound energy absorbed, and 1 is all incident sound energy absorbed.
WBA is a measure of the effectiveness of the middle ear (to absorb sound) as a function of frequency. It has been shown that measuring middle ear function across frequencies (instead of just at a single frequency, or a handful of frequencies as in traditional tympanometry) can give clinicians a greater understanding of how certain disease processes affect the middle ear1.
If I were to purchase a WBT device, what will this technology do for my patients?
Differentiate negative pressure tympanometry results and determine whether the middle ear is fluid or air filled - not just a Type B tymp anymore!
Get results in restless and noisy kids with the wideband averaged tymp.
Examine the middle ear performance even with perforations or grommets.
How about in adults or difficult to test populations:
All of the above is still relevant in adult populations, plus there is some great research coming out about how WBA can assist with Meniere’s diagnosis. You can contact us for a list of article links. Here’s one to get you started:
Ishizu et al (2018) Diagnosis and following up of Ménière’s disease using multifrequency tympanometry—Cutoff values and temporal changes in measurements in Auris Nasus Larynx; 45 (2018) 81–87.
So, what could this technology do for your business?
As clinical pressures increase and recent times have shown, less face to face contact is desirable from a health perspective; we are increasingly seeing the desire for faster and more clinically significant objective testing results. The WBT and WBA testing measures on the Titan allow you to quickly and efficiently diagnose middle ear pathologies unlike you have been able to before.
Showcasing your clinic’s advantages to your referral base is a big draw card for clinics utilising this technology. Adding to this, the increasing impressive evidence of the added Meniere’s diagnosis assistance, means we are looking forward to seeing greater specificity over traditional more invasive EcochG (Electrocochleography) tests for Meniere’s confirmation.
Keen to learn more?
The Interacoustics Academy has an array of helpful resources for clinicians. Please use the links to navigate to their website. We suggest starting with one of their e-Learning courses on WBT: https://www.interacoustics.com/academy/e-learning.
Don’t miss our WBT offer either, 50% off the WBT add on module to any new or existing Diagnostic or Clinical Impedance Titan.*
*Click Here to read more about this promo in our latest newsletter.
1 – Interacoustics Academy – Taken on 15/7/2021: https://www.interacoustics.com/academy/faq/tympanometry/what-exactly-is-wideband-absorbance.
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