Hearing Screening Protocol for Stroke Patients

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Hearing Screening Stroke Protocol

A stroke can affect several parts of the body, depending on the area of the brain that is affected. A stroke can also cause hearing loss.  Those strokes that affect one of the temporal lobes can cause mild hearing loss. Strokes that affect both temporal lobes can cause complete deafness. People who have a stroke may experience hearing disorders such as the following:

  • Auditory agnosia. This disorder is an inability to recognize sounds as they occur in conversations, music, and songs.
  • Auditory verbal agnosia. Known as pure word deafness, this is the inability to comprehend speech.
  • Auditory illusions. This problem occurs when a stroke patient hears a different version of an actual sound.
  • Auditory hallucinations. These hallucinations occur when a person hears a sound that is not there.

Researchers are now developing a hearing screening protocol for stroke patients to identify patients who need further hearing evaluation as a result of their stroke.

Assessing Stroke Patients

It is not practical to perform a detailed audiological assessment of all stroke patients. Because of this, a hearing screening protocol needs to be in place with the full audiological assessment reserved for those patients who fail the initial screening.

To enable early identification of peripheral hearing loss and central auditory processing disorder in stroke survivors, the research team is testing a two-tier hearing screening protocol. The goal is to support the communication needs of stroke patients and improve their quality of life.

Evaluating Screening Tools

For their research, the team assessed three hearing screening tools for the identification of hearing loss in stroke patients. These include a handheld hearing screener for peripheral hearing loss, the modified Amsterdam Inventory for Auditory Disability (AIAD) questionnaire, and the Hearing Handicap Inventory for Elderly (HHIE), which is a tool for the identification of hearing loss.

Hearing screening tests were conducted in 42 stroke patients at 3 and 12 months after their stroke. A full audiological assessment was then given to identify and categorize the patient’s hearing profile into normal hearing, peripheral hearing loss, central auditory processing disorder, or a combination of hearing impairments. The pure-tone audiogram served as the standard for the handheld screener, and information from different audiological tests provided the information for the questionnaires.

Recommendations

The handheld screener has the highest sensitivity at 93% and the highest specificity at 100%, making it a reliable tool in the identification of stroke patients in need of a detailed assessment for peripheral hearing loss. The addition of the AIAD questionnaire helps to identify patients who need further central auditory evaluation. The researchers are recommending a hearing screening protocol for stroke patients. The team feels that this protocol can help to identify patients with high levels of perceived hearing difficulties who need additional evaluation.

Get Your Hearing Tested

It is vital to get your hearing tested regardless of your medical history. A hearing healthcare professional can perform a hearing evaluation to diagnose and treat your hearing loss while helping you enjoy a better quality of life.

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