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What is the Difference Between a Foam Tip and an Earmold RECD?

Marlene Bagatto, AuD, PhD, Sheila T. Moodie, PhD, MCISc

March 24, 2008

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Question

What is the difference between a foam tip and an earmold RECD?

Answer

The main difference will be noted in the high-frequency region. An RECD measured with a foam tip will show a reduction in values starting around 3 or 4 kHz. When an earmold from a toddler or adult is used in place of a standard foam tip, the increased length of tubing on the earmold will cause a reduction in RECD values around 2 kHz (see Figure 1). This change in values may not be present when measuring with a young infant's earmold as the tubing may be the same length as a standard foam eartip.
 


Figure 1. Comparison of RECD values when using a foam tip versus a custom earmold. Note the high-frequency difference in values.


It is important to be able to distinguish that the change in high-frequency values is due to increased tubing length and not shallow probe tube insertion. However, if the clinician used the customized probe tube insertion depth strategy outlined previously (Figure 2), then a roll-off in high-frequency values will likely be due to increased tubing length from the earmold.

This Ask The Expert Question was taken from an article previous published on Audiology Online entitled, "Learning the Art to Apply the Science: Common Questions Related to Pediatric Hearing Instrument Fitting". See Bagatto and Moodie (2007) for additional information.

References

Bagatto, M., Moodie, S., (2007, October 8). Learning the Art to Apply the Science: Common Questions Related to Pediatric Hearing Instrument Fitting. Audiology Online, Article 1886. Accessed from the Article Archives from www.audiologyonline.com/articles/article_detail.asp?article_id=1886

Marlene Bagatto, Au.D., is a Research Associate and Sheila T. F. Moodie, M.Cl.Sc., is a Research Audiologist at the National Centre for Audiology at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada.


marlene bagatto

Marlene Bagatto, AuD, PhD

Adjunct Research Professor, National Centre for Audiology, Western University

 

Marlene Bagatto is an Adjunct Research Professor at the National Centre for Audiology at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada. Her research interests have a clinical focus and relate to fitting hearing aids to the pediatric population. Dr. Bagatto has given numerous presentations and workshops as well as published several articles on the topic. Recently, she led the development and evaluation of an outcome measurement guideline for infants, toddlers and preschool children who wear hearing aids. In addition, Dr. Bagatto provides clinical services to infants involved in the Ontario Infant Hearing Program at the H.A. Leeper Speech and Hearing Clinic at Western. She also serves as an Amplification Consultant and Instructor for the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services’ Infant Hearing Program.


sheila t moodie

Sheila T. Moodie, PhD, MCISc

Research Audiologist in The Child Amplification Laboratory

Sheila Moodie is a Research Audiologist in The Child Amplification Laboratory, at The National Centre for Audiology, University of Western Ontario and a PhD Candidate in the Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Program, Faculty of Health Sciences also at The University of Western Ontario. She has assisted in the development and methods to improve the clinical implementation of the DSL Method for over 20 years. She has been awarded a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship to study methods that reduce the knowledge utilization gap in audiology by encouraging collaborative linkage and exchange between researchers and clinicians. none


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