Original Research

Acoustic reflex measurements and the loudness function in sensorineural hearing loss

Sheila Uliel
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 27, No 1 | a363 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v27i1.363 | © 1980 Sheila Uliel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 November 1980 | Published: 14 November 1980

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Sheila Uliel, Unit for Hearing-impaired Children, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

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Abstract

The suprathreshold acoustic reflex responses of forty two ears affected by sensorineural hearing loss of cochlear origin and fifty-eight ears demonstrating normal hearing, were recorded by means of an electro-acoustic impedance meter and attached X-Y recorder. The recordings were done in ascending and descending fashion,  at successively increasing and decreasing 5dB intensity levels from 90-120-90 dB HL respectively, for the individual pure-tone frequencies of 500, 1 000, 2 000 and 4 000 Hz. The contralateral mode of measurement was employed. Analysis of  these recordings indicated that the acoustic reflex  responses could be differentiated into five  characteristic patterns of  growth, which could be depicted upon a continuum of peaked, peaked-rounded, rounded, rounded-flat,  and flat  shapes. The peaked and peaked-rounded patterns were found  to predominate at all four pure-tone frequencies  in the normal ears, while the rounded-fiat  and flat  patterns were found  to predominate only at the higher pure-tone frequencies of 2 000 and 4 000 Hz in the ears affected  by sensorineural hearing loss. This latter relationship was also able to be applied to two disorders of  the loudness functio— loudness recruitment and hyperacusis. It was concluded that the flattened  acoustic reflex  patterns at the higher pure-tone frequencies  constituted a potential diagnostic cue related to the differential  diagnosis of sensorineural hearing loss, and to disorders of  the loudness function.

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