An Otoscopy is a visual ear examination through the use of an otoscope. The purpose of the examination is to check for any abnormal features in the external auditory canal of the ear. The part of the ear being examined is the tunnel that leads from the outer ear (pinna) to the eardrum. The most common abnormal features that may be found through the examination include;
Any of these features and others will generally cause temporary hearing loss and therefore result in a false reading of audiometric results. For example, a wax occlusion depending on the size can give a reading of plus 35dB to an individual’s test. Therefore if your employee does have an abnormal feature to the ear, they could ultimately be illustrated as a referral on your company report when there hearing has actually not had a significant change at all (in turn costing your company for ongoing testing, as Section 3.2.12 – Audiological Examinations state in the Victorian OHS Regulations, 2007).
Not only can a false reading cost your company hundreds of dollars in referral fees, it could potentially have a very negative impact on your company in the long run. A false reading of results could make it look as though an employee has suffered from hearing loss due to their workplace. If the results are illustrated as valid in JTA’s database, these recordings are looked at if employees decides to make a claim for hearing loss in the future. What happens to Employees that have Abnormal Features?
At JTA all of our Audiometrist’s are multi-skilled and highly trained to asses a situation and act in the best and most liable way possible. Generally all employees will still be tested no matter what the result of the Otoscopy illustrates. If an employee does have an abnormal feature in their ear, the Audiometrist will be able to assess (through comparing to previous results) if this is effecting their results.
If it is clear that the employee’s test results are giving a false reading, the test will be marked as invalid and will not come up in your company report. It is then up to the company to decide what they want to do with that employee moving forward. JTA is able to provide clients with the appropriate recommendations, so that they receive the best outcome.