Distortion Product Otoacoustic Emissions in Screening for Early Stages of High-frequency Hearing Loss in Adolescents

Danique E. Paping, Marc van der Schroef, Hiske W. Helleman, André Goedegebure, Rob J. Baatenburg de Jong, Jantien L. Vroegop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objective: Adolescents may be at risk of noise-induced hearing loss due to recreational sound. The aim of this study was to examine the role of distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) in screening for early stages of high-frequency loss such as can be observed in noise-induced hearing loss. Setting and design: This cross-sectional study was embedded within Generation R, an ongoing prospective birth cohort study in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Data were collected from April 2016 to September 2019. Methods: A total of 3456 adolescents with a mean age of 13 years and 8 months old (standard deviation ± 5 months) were included. Pure-tone thresholds were measured in a sound-treated booth. DPOAEs were recorded using an ILO V6 analyzer with primary levels of 65/55 dB SPL and frequency ratio f2/f1 of 1.22. Subjects had normal middle ear function at the time of assessment, based on tympanometry results. Results: Measurements in 6065 ears showed that DPOAE levels tend to decrease with increasing pure-tone thresholds. However, the intersubject variability of DPOAE levels in ears with the same threshold was large. DPOAE levels could reasonably identify early stages of high-frequency hearing loss. Conclusion: The findings of present study indicate that DPOAE measurements can potentially be used for adolescents hearing screening in the high frequencies. Future research is needed to optimize test performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-26
Number of pages7
JournalNoise & Health
Issue number112
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


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