The 2001 Military Audiology Short Course (MASC) was held in Albuquerque, NM, during 27–30 August in conjunction with the Fourth Annual Force Health Protection Conference. In this entry we offer a content overview from this course.
Hearing Conservation Program Clinical Practice Guidelines
CPT(P) Marjorie Grantham, USA
This presentation will provide a short history, professional constraints and current status of the joint Audiology Committee for Clinical Practice statements and algorithms. It will focus on outcomes analysis for Hearing Conservation Programs and conclude with a discussion on the importance of using Hearing Conservation Clinical Practice Guidelines.
Establishment of Hearing Conservation in the Balkans
LTC(P) Linda Pierson, USA
This presentation will begin with a discussion on the current status and approach of Hearing Conservation in the Balkans. It will focus on actions completed, and future actions. It will discuss priority areas of noise hazard identification in both Kosovo and Bosnia. It will identify the medical surveillance requirements and conclude with recommendations and future priorities.
The Deployable Audiologist
CPT Robyn Hamilton, USA
This presentation will identify the audiologist’s role in pre-deployment, deployment and post-deployment situations. Pre-deployment will address SRP and Industrial hygiene support. Deployment will examine personnel checks, equipment noise levels and individual needs. Lastly, post-deployment will discuss garrison adaptation, statistical analysis and surveys.
Listening for Land Mines
COL Nancy Vause, USA
Anti-personnel landmines constitute a worldwide threat usually located by hand-held metal detectors. Future detection systems employ multi-sensor technologies. With the increased amount of information comes an arduous task of presenting this information to the soldier in a meaningful and intuitive way. Sound is the primary means of information transfer. The system communicates object detection to the operator by generating auditory signals that convey information about changes in the environment and the status of the device. These systems typically employ sounds (e.g., a high frequency pure tone) as the primary man-machine interface alerting operators of their location. The design of the auditory interface proved critical during operational testing of a new Army detector. Forty-six percent of randomly selected soldiers presented with hearing loss detecting only 30% of the landmines. These signals proved confusing and difficult to hear by operators with hearing loss reducing the percent detection (PD) rate. A properly designed auditory signal should be resistant to low 4 frequency environmental masking noise and easily heard by most users (with or without hearing loss). This paper will present a series of experiments designed to develop a user centered designed intuitive auditory interface. Furthermore, the authors will discuss evidence supporting individual differences for musically trained versus non-trained listeners.
The Communications Earplug (CEP)–Update 2001
Dr. William Ahroon, DAC
The Communications Earplug (CEP) was developed in response to poor communications in Army aviators using double hearing protection strategies in the high-noise environment of U.S. Army rotary-wing aircraft. The CEP consists of a miniature receiver encapsulated in a plastic housing, which includes a threaded adapter used for attaching a replaceable foam or custom-molded earplug. The earplug tip has an internally threaded insert channel that extends through the center from the base to tip, and mates with the threaded adapter on the transducer housing. Thus, instead of being driven through a sound-attenuating earplug, the speech signal is delivered from the receiver directly into the ear canal, proximal to the earplug. The CEP was presented to the Military Audiology Association first at the 1994 meeting held in Richmond, VA. This presentation describes the history of the CEP from development to the present, updating the military audiology community by describing user assessments in a variety of rotary-wing aircraft, objective comparisons of hearing protection and speech intelligibility between the CEP and prototype active-noise reduction systems, rigorous qualification tests, airworthiness release (AWR) for the Apache flight helmet, and studies currently underway evaluating the use of the CEP in tracked-vehicles.
Communications Earplug Use by Hearing-impaired Army Aviators
CPT Kristen Casto, USA
CPT Casto will discuss her involvement as the clinical Audiologist and Hearing Conservation Officer at Fort Rucker, Alabama–home of U.S. Army Aviation. Focus will be on the communications earplug and its impact on the hearing-impaired
The Effects of Symmetrical and Asymmetrical Sensorineural Hearing Loss on Speech Perception in Noise
MAJ Dale Ostler, USA
This presentation will discuss the key factors associated with speech perception in noise. Several of these factors are:
- Head shadow effect
- Signal to noise ratio effect
- Release from masking effects
Next, a discussion will focus on the effects of asymmetrical sensorineural hearing loss on speech examining with the poor ear forward, the good ear forward and looking straight at the sound source. It will conclude by examining rehabilitative measures for individuals with asymmetrical sensorineural hearing loss.