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Thales smith & BYu
A NEWBORN INFANT in Utah Valley Hospital's nursery is tested for possible hearing disorders as a result of cooperative studies by Brigham Young University, the hospital and the University of Utah. Valley Hospital, BYU Expect Infant Hearing Breakthrough V A breakthrough in th'e diagnosis of middle-ear hearing problems in newborn babies may result from cooperative studies by Brigham Young University and the University of Utah. These studies are being conducted at the Utah Valley Hospital Nursery by the Department of Pediatrics and the BYU Clinical Audiology Area of the Speech and Dramatic Arts Department, according to Dr. Ross M. Weaver, project director. One study by Phil All red, a graduate student in clinicial audiology, and his wife, Lenna, will soon complete electro- acoustic impedance measurements on 50 babies ranging in age from four hours to two months. The study was suggested by Dr. Geary McCandless of the University of Utah and the project is supported by funds awarded to Dr. Weaver by BYU Research Division. Cooperating Doctors Listed The ears of each baby are inspected for abnormalities by the cooperating pediatricians, including Dr. Stewart W. Slingerland, Dr. Thales Smith, Dr. Marin Bobbins, Dr. R.H. Wakefield and Dr. A.V. Lindsay, Dr. Weaver said the acoustic reflex has found to be a very valuable aid in the diagnosis of many ear pathologies among older children and adults. If it is found to be present at birth, it could provide the basis for a hearing screening procedure for infants, Dr. Weaver explained. Conductive hearing losses among newborn? have not received much attention. Dr. Weaver pointed out, because their ears are not examined routinely in the hospital nursery. There has been no audiometric technique available for detecting anything less than a severe hearing loss. Disorders Caused The undetected hearing losses may produce a later onset of speech disorders, learning disabilities and pyshcological problems, he added. The instruments used in Mr. Allred's study contains a small probe tip connected to a sound source, sensative microphone and air-pressure system, Dr. Weaver said. He explained the probe is sealed in the ear canal by a rubber cuff which enables varying air pressure to be maintained in the outer ear. A tone thus may be introduced to the ear and is partially absorbed as energy is needed to set the middle ear vibrating. Part of the tone also is transmitted to the brain and another part striking the eardrum, is reflected out of the ear, Dr. Weaver added. This reflected sound is monitored through the probe unit and the difference between the tone intensity admitted to the ear and reflected off the ear is measured. Variations Determined By varying the air pressure and monitoring the change in reflection of sound off the eardrum, much can be. determined about the hearing function of the middle ear, Dr. Weaver noted. An additional indicator, the acoutsic reflex, is a normal protective contraction of the muscles in the middle ear when stimulated by loud sounds. Any condition which reduces the level of sound stimuli reaching the inner ear may prevent the occurrence of the acoustic reflex, Dr. Weaver explained. Taken together, the indications of a stiff eardrum and the absence of acoustic reflex can serve as reliable indicators of the presence of middle ear infection in newborns, Dr. Weaver concluded. Quirks In The News NO TAKERS GRONINGEN, The Netherlands (UPI) - The "people's housing" cooperative said today it would sue the city for loss of income because the cooperative has 42 houses ready to rent since December but no takers. The city has failed to construct the street to the houses. TOO CAREFUL AACHEN, West Germany (UP!) - Because a Belgian female bus driver kept careful notes, about a dozen residents of this border city are in trouble. The 28-year-old bus driver, police said, smuggled about 55,000 cheap Belgian cigarettes to friends during trips into West Germany in her minibus. In a surprise border check, officers found a bag containing 1.525 cigarettes hidden behind the driver's seat—and a note book carefully listing the names and addresses of her "customers." Customs authorities said the friends faced heavy fines for violating customs ordinances.
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