In the Listening lab, Dr. Hunter is collaborating to uncover hearing issues that may relate to children’s listening problems. She uses sensitive tests that have been developed in her previous collaborations with Dr. Doug Keefe at Boys Town National Research Hospital in Omaha, NE and Dr. Pat Feeney at the National Center for Rehabilitative Audiologic Research in Portland, OR. These tests are capable of detecting very high frequency changes in hearing sensitivity, problems in the function of the eardrum and middle ear, and in the inner ear.
In the SICLiD study, she recently published results showing overall that children with listening difficulties do not have problems in these areas that could explain their difficulty in understanding. However, some children had poorer high frequency hearing sensitivity, poorer inner ear and middle ear function that were clearly related to previous history of otitis media treated with eardrum tubes.
Dr. Hunter is also collaborating on the OtiS study to study children who could benefit from the new hearing aids due to problems they have understanding speech in noise.