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October 1959

The Indiscriminate Use of Masking in Bone-Conduction Audiometry

Author Affiliations

Evanston, Ill

AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1959;70(4):419-420. doi:10.1001/archotol.1959.00730040429002

Many authorities contend that the opposite ear should always be masked during bone-conduction audiometry in order to eliminate the possibility that the bone-con-ducted sound, crossing the skull, will be heard in the nontest ear.

Other investigators, while cognizant of the omnipresent danger of cross hearing to the nontest ear, nevertheless feel that masking should be used only if the patient actually refers the test tone to the nontest ear, that as long as he hears the tone on the proper ear, it is neither necessary nor de-sirable to mask the opposite ear.

Still other investigators are somewhat ap-prehensive over the largely unexplored problem of how a rather loud noise in one ear may affect threshold responses in the other ear in many clinical patients, irrespec-tive of the cross hearing problem. They remind us that just as it is not possible to stimulate only one cochlea by bone conduction so also

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