Review by L Flood
My immediate impression of this book is that it represents remarkable value for money and will surely have great appeal to any audiology department. As the title suggests, this is not the basic science of acoustics, but instead a practical guide to therapy. There is much in this book that will appeal to trainees in our discipline, but also to any of whoever sends our patient off to audiology and wonders what becomes of them subsequently. It is so easy to fill in that hearing aid request form and meet any subsequent problem with the advice ‘Oh, pop in to see them on your way out’. Readers should not be put off by diagrams of ‘BIT resolution and quantization error’ or an ‘Operational flow diagram of a delta-sigma convertor’, but instead concentrate on the many chapters dealing with common clinical problems.
The Preface opens by stressing the increasing evidence for a link between hearing loss and cognitive decline, and admits that the bulk of the text relates to the commonest intervention, hearing aid technology. There is a multi-author contribution, all drawn from the North American continent. The result is a nice variety of chapter styles, some using case studies and all with very up-to-date references. Commendably, these include articles from 2018, a nice illustration of the effort put in to update the work.
The first 11 chapters are on hearing aids and are of much greater relevance to our colleagues in audiology. I found the section on the venting of ear moulds particularly thought-provoking and can now pronounce on the ‘ampclusion effect’ with great authority. Every chapter carries boxed text, which is great for the casual browser. These are variously entitled ‘Pearls’ or ‘Pitfalls’, or ‘Controversial Points’ such as ‘Just whose outcomes are you measuring, the patient’s or yours?’ Throughout, the contributors all realistically concede that the biggest challenge is not technological, but patient compliance and acceptance.
Chapters 12–17 are then very much relevant to our work, whether on tinnitus, hearing protection, bone conduction systems, or cochlear implants in adults or in children. In the last, the book does not shy away from addressing the controversy with the deaf community, when the procedure was first introduced. A favourite chapter was (and I was surprised, I will freely admit) that on tinnitus. It is lengthy and supported by no fewer than 208 references, and somehow was able to shed much new light on a subject that can cause despair for all.
This is a great buy, as a gift for your audiology department. But I would then encourage the trainees, at the very least, to read the last six chapters. This whole field is somewhat neglected, in current UK training certainly, and this book could transform that.
Amazon Link: Audiology Treatment, 3rd edn
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