Clinical Research Tools for Rapid Assessment of Cochlear Health

Project Name: Clinical Research Tools for Rapid Assessment of Cochlear Health
Grantee: Joshua J. Hajicek
Discipline: Hearing Science
Funding Cycle: 2014-2015
Project Status: In progress

About the Project

wavesAbstract: Individuals with normal hearing produce sounds from their ears. The ear has three main parts, the outer ear, middle ear, and inner ear. These sounds, called otoacoustic emissions (OAEs), are produced by the inner ear, which is known as the cochlea. Currently, OAEs are the best way to assess the health of the cochlea without surgery. However, current clinical OAE measurement devices crudely assess cochlear status and underutilize the information obtained.  We have developed a software platform that integrates advancements in auditory research with advancements in signal processing to maximize the clinical information available from OAE measurements.

Our measurements are almost 5 times faster and provide a high-resolution assessment of cochlear health. Our software platform is expected to improve the application of OAEs to other research areas such as monitoring intracranial pressure after traumatic brain injuries, understanding auditory brainstem innervation, and to identify changes in hearing health, not detectable by clinical tests, thereby mitigating permanent hearing loss.