Otoacoustic emissions are clinically important because they are the basis of a simple, non-invasive test for hearing defects in newborn babies and in children who are too young to cooperate in conventional hearing tests. Many western countries now have national programmes for the universal hearing screening of newborn babies. Periodic early childhood hearing screenings program are also utilizing OAE technology. One excellent example has been demonstrated by the Early Childhood Hearing Outreach Initiative at the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management (NCHAM) at Utah State University, which has helped hundreds of Early Head Start programs across the United States implement OAE screening and follow-up practices in those early childhood educational settings. The primary screening tool is a test for the presence of a click-evoked OAE. Otoacoustic emissions also assist in differential diagnosis of cochlear and higher level hearing losses (e.g., auditory neuropathy).
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OAEs are considered to be related to the amplification function of the cochlea. In the absence of external stimulation, the activity of the cochlear amplifier increases, leading to the production of sound. Several lines of evidence suggest that, in mammals, outer hair cells are the elements that enhance cochlear sensitivity and frequency selectivity and hence act as the energy sources for amplification. One theory is that they act to increase the discriminability of signal variations in continuous noise by lowering the masking effect of its cochlear amplification.
In high school I was involved with sports (softball, basketball, track) was FFA vice president, and a member of the National Honor Society. After high school I received an athletic scholarship to play softball. While in college I started a physical education program at a local Lutheran Church School. The people and the children became family to me and I was offered a part time teaching assistant job working with the kindergarten class. During the summers of college I spent my time coaching softball to young girls. Over my four years of coaching we won four state titles, four regional titles, three Nationals appearances as well as an invitation to the Babe Ruth Little League World Series.