< Program

Technology Update Session

Session 2D
Assessment of Middle Ear Function Using Wideband Tympanometry: Current Practices and Future Prospects
Hammam AlMakadma, AuD, PhD, CCC-A, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY; on behalf of Interacoustics

Wideband tympanometry (WBT) measures, including wideband absorbance (WBA), convey a large amount of clinical data about the middle ear function that routine single-frequency tympanometry cannot achieve. Thanks to their ability to obtain responses over a wide range of frequencies, WBT measures allow researchers and clinicians to make inferences about the acoustic mechanics (e.g., resonance, impedance, relative stiffness- and mass- dominance) of healthy and disordered middle ears. Although clinical systems with wideband testing capabilities have been available commercially since the mid-2000s, the use of WBT measures in standard-of-care practice has not yet achieved widespread adoption. Refinement of these measures, coupled with continued emergence of normative data and reports from disordered ears will result in more common usage of this technology. A number of leading experts, researchers and clinicians, convened at the virtual 'Seminars in Hearing Workshop on Wideband Acoustic Immittance' in July of 2021 to discuss barriers to clinical adoption, and coordinated efforts to make theoretical concepts and research findings more accessible to clinicians. The culmination of this effort was a special-topics edition on the use of WBT that included six titles spanning from fundamental concepts to a wide range of applications, and in diverse clinical populations. The edition is set to be the first issue of Seminars in Hearing Journal to be published in 2023. This resource will be useful for clinicians and/or researchers who look to adopt this technology in their practice, and/or prepare for a future where WBT measures become a common tool for assessment of middle ear function. The objectives of this technology update session are (1) to report on outcomes form the Seminars in Hearing Workshop on Wideband Acoustic Immittance, (2) to review methods for assessment and interpretation of WBT measures in a variety of clinical situations, and (3) to highlight future directions and emerging technologies.

Dr. Hammam AlMakadma is an assistant professor in the Department of Otolaryngology, Head Neck Surgery and Communicative Disorders at the University of Louisville (UofL). His area of research is diagnostics and newborn hearing screening, with expertise in measures such as otoacoustic emissions and wideband middle ear measures. Dr. AlMakadma's research is currently funded by the William Demant Foundation. He is director of the Middle Ear Diagnostic Research Lab at UofL, and the Newborn Hearing Screening Program at University of Louisville Hospital. He also teaches a number of courses for the Doctor of Audiology Program at UofL.