Glossary Terms: O

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OAE
Otoacoustic Emissions testing is typically used as a preliminary screening test. This simple procedure involves placing a small probe in the outer ear canal with the patient sitting still and quietly. A computer analyzes the emissions or lack thereof. This test does not require the child's active participation and usually takes about 15 minutes.

Occupational Therapy/Therapist (OT)
Occupational therapy (OT) refers to therapy that helps children perform everyday skills and activities. Pediatric occupational therapists are qualified occupational therapists who work with infants and children who have problems in cognitive functions, movement and coordination.

Odorant
Substance that stimulates the sense of smell.

Olfaction
The act of smelling.

Olfactometer
Device for estimating the intensity of the sense of smell.
Open-Set Speech Recognition - understanding speech without visual clues (speech reading).

Ophthamologist
A physician specializing in the treatment of diseases of the eye.

Oral Deaf Education
An approach based on the principal that most deaf and hard-of-hearing children can be taught to listen and speak with early intervention and consistent training to develop their hearing potential. The goal is for these children to grow up to become independent, participating citizens in mainstream society. Also known as Auditory-Oral Education.

Oral Interpreter
Same as for Oral Transliterator.

Oral Transliterator
Communicates the words of a speaker or group of speakers to an individual who is deaf by inaudibly mouthing what is said so that it can be read on the lips. For more detailed information, see Oral Transliterating in the section on Support Aids.

Ossicles
Three tiny bones (the Incus, Malleus and Stapes) in the middle ear.

Otitis Externa
Inflammation of the outer part of the ear extending to the auditory canal.

Otitis Media
Infection of the middle ear that usually results in a conductive hearing loss until the middle ear becomes well ventilated. Children with recurrent attacks may have fluctuating hearing loss and be somewhat at risk for acquiring permanent hearing loss.

Otoacoustic Emissions
Low-intensity sounds produced by the inner ear that can be quickly measured with a sensitive microphone placed in the ear canal.

Otolaryngologist
Physician/surgeon who specializes in diseases of the ears, nose, throat, and head and neck.

Otologist
Physician/surgeon who specializes in diseases of the ear.

Otosclerosis
Abnormal growth of bone of the inner ear. This bone prevents structures within the ear from working properly and causes hearing loss. For some people with otosclerosis, the hearing loss may become severe.

Ototoxic Drugs
Drugs such as a special class of antibiotics, aminoglycoside antibiotics, that can damage the hearing and balance organs located in the inner ear for some individuals.

Outer Ear
External portion of the ear, consisting of the pinna, or auricle, and the ear canal.