Handtronix, Inc. since 1988

OtoScreen S-O-A-R Protocol

The S-O-A-R Protocol was developed for the health professional for hearing screening, but is equally important for parents and other health care providers to utilize. It gives the very basic steps needed to quickly assess if a problem may exist. It stands for:

SCREEN -   Use the OtoScreen device and screen at 500, 1000, 2000 & 4000 Hz
OBSERVE - Look for signs of Hearing Loss
ASK -         "Do you have any trouble with your hearing?"
REFER -       All abnormal or questionable results for appropriate follow-up

The table below shows the recommended screening intensities for different age groups. If a subject can't hear one of the tones below, there may be a problem and the subject should be referred for additional testing.

Frequency (Hz)

500

1000

2000

4000

Children

Omit

20 dB HL

20 dB HL

20 dB HL

General Population

May Omit

25 dB HL

25 dB HL

25 dB HL

Geriatric

Omit

40 dB HL

40 dB HL

40 dB HL

Hearing screening is done at the threshold of human hearing ability. So naturally the otoscreener's presented tones are very soft. The 500 Hz measurement is sensitive to background noise that is typical in doctor's offices and other potential testing areas. This is why it is usually omitted. However, if there is a sufficiently quiet environment it can be tested.

The PEDIATRIC version of the OtoScreen device tests at the 20 dB HL and 40 db HL levels. This is clearly marked on its turquoise colored switch panel. The STANDARD version of the OtoScreen device tests at the 25 dB HL and 40 dB HL levels. This is clearly marked on its gray colored switch panel.

The OtoScreen unit has two buttons, a SCAN button and a BOOST button. The SCAN button presents the softer tone (20 or 25 dB HL). If the BOOST button is pressed while the SCAN button is also being pressed, the louder tone is presented (40 dB HL). If a subject can't hear one of the softer tones, press the BOOST button to see if they can hear the louder tone. If a subject can't hear a louder tone there is a much higher chance of a hearing problem.

Note - The BOOST button by itself doesn't present a tone, the SCAN button must be pressed first.