Date of Award

Spring 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Audiology (AuD)


School of Communication

First Advisor

Steve Madix


Hearing screenings are an important tool for identifying children who have, or are at risk for hearing loss in the schools. In light of a body of evidence that demonstrates the effectiveness of objective screening measures, such as otoacoustic emissions (OAEs), the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) recommends traditional pure tone audiometric screening as the tool of choice for hearing screenings in the schools. Pure tone audiometric screenings conducted in the schools are problematic for a number of reasons, but the most significant is the presence of background noise which is routinely encountered. The main purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effect of noise levels on two types of hearing screenings, pure tone audiometric hearing screening and distortion product otoacoustic emission (DPOAE) screening. The two screening measures were compared in twenty young adults with normal hearing in a sound treated booth. The results showed that as noise levels (40, 50, and 60 dB SPL) increased, significant numbers of listeners failed the pure tones but passed the DPOAEs; indicating that DPOAEs are more resistant to background noise and should be considered as a more effective screening measure when background noise is present.