Do you know what a Pure Tone Average is? Everybody knows what 20/20 means. 120/80. 3.5–1. If optimal eyesight, blood pressure, and cholesterol ratios are considered common knowledge, why then are so few familiar with Pure Tone Average or PTA? It starts by understanding exactly what it means. Let us explain.
In the late 1950’s portable audiometers were developed as an effort to reach populations without access to hearing tests conducted in controlled environments by highly trained professionals. At their least impressive, a portable audiometer is a stripped down tabletop audiometer with a handle attached. Notably, many rugged systems have been successfully used throughout the world in challenging environments. To a large extent, these portable audiometers still require a power plug and a modicum of expertise to operate. With the advent of mobile technology, we have witnessed the transformation of dated, portable audiometers into a new breed of powerful, simple-to-use, internet-connected mobile audiometers.
Although newborn hearing screening is performed in many Canadian provinces, few offer universal hearing testing of school-aged children. The American Academy of Audiology recommends hearing screening in preschool, kindergarten, grades 1, 3, 5, and either 7 or 9
According to the World Health Organization, 360 million people worldwide – a full 5% of the population – suffer from disabling hearing loss. The majority of these people live in low and middle-income countries where access to hearing testing is limited or non-existent.