A Concise Vocabulary of Audiology and allied topics

Part 2: Abbreviations

B.W. Lawton Research Fellow and D.W. Robinson Visiting Professor

© 1999 Institute of Sound and Vibration Research.  All rights reserved.

First published in book form in 1999 as ISBN 0854326839

This on-line version contains some additional material not in the original printed version.  Abbreviations for institutions, government bodies and documents are given first,  followed by Abbreviations for technical terms.

The main vocabulary is in Part 1 


AAA American Academy of Audiology
AAO American Academy of Otolaryngology (formerly AAOO)
AAOO American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology
AAS American Auditory Society
ANSI American National Standards Institute (formerly ASA)
ASA 1. American Standards Association (see ANSI)
2. Acoustical Society of America
ASHA American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
BAAP British Association of Audiological Physicians
BAAS British Association of Audiological Scientists
BAAT British Association of Audiology Technicians
BACDA British Association of Community Doctors in Audiology
BAOL British Association of Otolaryngologists
BATOD British Association of Teachers of the Deaf
BCIG British Cochlear Implant Group
BIG Balance Interest Group (of the BSA)
BS British Standard; see entry in main section
BSA British Society of Audiology
BSHAA British Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists
BSHT British Society of Hearing Therapists
BSI British Standards Institution
CCITT Comité Consultatif International Télégraphique et Téléphique
CEC Commission of the European Communities
CEN European Committee for Standardization
CENELEC European Committee for Electrical Standardization
CHABA NRC-NAS Committee on Hearing, Bioacoustics and Biomechanics
(National Research Council-National Academy of Sciences, USA)
CID Central Institute for the Deaf (USA)
EC European Community
EEC European Economic Community
EN European standard; see entry in main section
ETSI European Telecommunications Standards Institute
EU European Union
HAC Hearing Aid Council
HAIC Hearing Aid Industries Conference (USA)
HSC Health and Safety Commission
HSE Health and Safety Executive
IAAP International Association of Audiological Physicians
IAPA International Association of Physicians in Audiology
IEC International Electrotechnical Commission
IHR MRC Institute of Hearing Research
IIAC Industrial Injuries Advisory Council
ILO Institute of Laryngology and Otology
ISA International Society of Audiology
ISO International Organization for Standardization
ITU International Telecommunications Union (UN)
ITU-T ITU Telecommunications Standardization Sector (of former CCITT)
MRC Medical Research Council
NAL National Acoustic Laboratories (Australia)
NBS National Bureau of Standards (USA) (now re-named NIST)
NCPA National Committee of Professionals in Audiology
NDCS National Deaf Children's Society
NIH National Institutes of Health (USA)
NIOSH National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (USA)
NIST National Institute of Standards and Technology (USA)
NPL National Physical Laboratory
NSH National Study of Hearing (by the MRC Institute of Hearing Research)
OIML International Organization of Legal Metrology
OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration (USA)
RNID Royal National Institute for Deaf People
SI Système International d'Unités
USPHS United States Public Health Service
WHO World Health Organization





In the section below, terms shown in bold are defined in the main Vocabulary. Also below are a number of obsolescent or obsolete terms; these are given for historical interest. Some terms in light type occur in the main text, but not as independent entries.

AAHL age-associated hearing loss
AATS age-associated threshold shift
AB designator for word lists devised by Arthur Boothroyd (lists adapted for Southern English are designated AB-S)
ABG air-bone gap
ABLB alternate binaural loudness balance
ABR auditory brainstem response
AC alternating current
a-c air conduction
ADN auditory disability with normal hearing (same as OAD)
AGC automatic gain control
AHTL apparent hearing threshold level (as in Stenger test)
AI articulation index
AM amplitude modulation
AMLB alternate monaural loudness balance (same as MLB)
AP action potential
APR auropalpebral reflex
APV assumed protection value (of a hearing protector)
ARD acoustic reflex decay
ARHL age-related hearing loss (same as AAHL)
ART acoustic reflex threshold
ARTS age-related threshold shift (same as AATS)
AVC automatic volume control
BAHA bone-anchored hearing aid
BPPV benign paroxysmal positional vertigo
b-c bone conduction
BE behind-the-ear (hearing aids)
BER brainstem evoked response
BKB Bamford-Kowal-Bench (speech test sentences)
BMLD binaural masking level difference
BW body-worn (hearing aids)
CANS central auditory nervous system
CAPD central auditory processing disorder (USA)
CCM contralateral competing message test (USA)
CDP computerized dynamic posturography
CERA cortical electric response audiometry
CHL conductive hearing loss
CIC completely-in-canal (hearing aids)
CM cochlear microphonic
CNV contingent negative variation
CORA conditioned orientation response audiometry
CP canal paresis
CPA cerebello-pontine angle
cps, c/s cycle per second (obsolete abbreviations)
CROS contralateral routeing of signals (hearing aids)
CVC consonant-vowel-consonant
dB decibel (unit of level)
DC direct current
DL 1. difference limen
2. discrimination loss
DP directional preponderance
DPOAE distortion-product otoacoustic emission
DSF delayed speech feedback
ECochG electrocochleography
ECoG electrocochleography (USA)
EDA electrodermal audiometry
EEG electroencephalography
EMG electromyography
ENG electronystagmography
EOAE evoked otoacoustic emission
EOG electro-oculography (same as ENG)
EP endocochlear potential
ERA 1. electric response audiometry
2. evoked response audiometry
ERP event-related potential
FHL functional hearing loss (same as NOHL)
FM frequency modulation
GHTL genuine hearing threshold level
HATS head-and-torso simulator
HHS Hearing Handicap Scale (USA)
HL hearing level
HLS hearing level of speech
HML high-medium-low (method of hearing protector rating)
HMS Hearing Measurement Scale
HOSRTL half optimum speech recognition threshold level
HPD hearing protection device
HPLE half-peak level elevation
HTL hearing threshold level
HTLA hearing threshold level associated with age
HTLAN hearing threshold level associated with age and noise
Hz hertz (unit of frequency)
ICM ipsilateral competing message test (USA)
IHC inner hair cell
IPA international phonetic alphabet
ISI inter-stimulus interval
ITC in-the-canal (hearing aids)
ITE in-the-ear (hearing aids)
I/O input/output function
jnd just-noticeable difference
LDL loudness discomfort level (same as ULL)
MAF minimum audible (sound) field
MAP minimum audible (sound) pressure
MCL most comfortable (listening) level
MEC middle-ear compliance
MEP middle-ear pressure
MIRE microphone-in-real-ear (referring to a measurement technique)
MLB monaural loudness balance
MLD masking level difference
MLS maximum length sequence
MMN mismatch negativity
MRT Modified Rhyme Test
MSRS maximum speech recognition score
N newton (unit of force)
NBN narrow-band noise
NDT noise detection threshold (USA)
nHL normal hearing level (applied to clicks or brief tone stimuli)
NIHL noise-induced hearing loss
NIL 1. noise immission level
2. noise interference level (USA)
NIPTS noise-induced permanent threshold shift
NITTS noise-induced temporary threshold shift
NOHL non-organic hearing loss
NPN neck positional nystagmus
NRR noise reduction rating (of a hearing protector) (USA)
OAD obscure auditory dysfunction
OAE otoacoustic emission
ODS optimum discrimination score (same as MSRS)
OFI optic fixation index
OHC outer hair cell
OKN optokinetic nystagmus
OM otitis media
OME otitis media with effusion (glue ear)
Pa pascal (unit of pressure and sound pressure)
PAM 1. postauricular myogenic response
2. postauricular muscle
PB phonetically-balanced (referring to speech material)
pe SPL peak-to-peak equivalent sound pressure level
PEL permissible exposure level (USA)
PN positional nystagmus
PNR predicted noise level reduction (of a hearing protector)
PPE personal protective equipment (includes HPDs)
PTA pure-tone audiometry
PTC psychoacoustical tuning curve
PTS permanent threshold shift
PULHEEMS health classification scheme used by the UK Ministry of Defence (the "H" refers to hearing)
REAG real-ear aided gain (of a hearing aid)
REAR real-ear aided response (of a hearing aid)
REAT real-ear attenuation at threshold (of a hearing protector)
RECD real-ear to coupler difference
REG real-ear gain (of a hearing aid)
REIG real-ear insertion gain (of a hearing aid)
REOG real-ear occluded gain (of a hearing aid)
REOR real-ear occluded response (of a hearing aid)
RETFL reference equivalent threshold force level
RETSPL reference equivalent threshold sound pressure level
REUG real-ear unaided gain (of a hearing aid)
REUR real-ear unaided response (of a hearing aid)
rms root mean square
RSRTL reference speech recognition threshold level
SBLB simultaneous binaural loudness balance
SCAN screening test for children's auditory processing disorders (USA)
SCAN-A screening test for adult auditory processing disorders (USA)
SCC semicircular canal
SDTL speech detection threshold level
SEL sound exposure level
SFOAE stimulus-frequency otoacoustic emission
SHTL spurious hearing threshold level
SIL speech interference level
SISG simulated in-situ gain (of hearing aid)
SISI short-increment sensitivity index
SL sensation level
SN spontaneous nystagmus
SNHL sensorineural hearing loss
SNR 1. signal-to-noise ratio (same as S/N)
2. single number rating (of a hearing protector)
SOAE spontaneous otoacoustic emission
SOM secretory otitis media
SP summating potential
SPIN speech intelligibility in noise test
SPL sound pressure level
SRT speech reception threshold
SRTL speech recognition threshold level
SSPL saturation sound pressure level (hearing aid output)
SSW staggered spondaic word test
STAT suprathreshold adaptation test (USA)
SVR slow vertex response
SWAMI speech with alternate masking index
SWL sound power level
SWN speech-weighted noise
S/N signal-to-noise ratio  (same as SNR)
TDT threshold tone decay test (USA)
TEOAE transient-evoked otoacoustic emission
THD total harmonic distortion
TMD tympanic membrane displacement
TOM threshold of octave masking
TTD threshold tone decay
TTS temporary threshold shift
TWA time-weighted average (sound level using 5 dB exchange rate over an 8 hour day, USA)
UCL uncomfortable level (USA)
ULL uncomfortable loudness level (same as LDL)
VOR 1. vestibulo-ocular reflex
2. visual-orienting response
VRA visual reinforcement audiometry
WBN wideband noise
WIPI Word Intelligibility by Picture Identification (test) (USA)
WNAP whole-nerve action potential