(a) Hearing tests for use in compensation ratings shall be derived from the pure-tone audiogram calculated to ANSI-S3.6-1969 standards. Examination should be performed by a medical specialist who does hearing evaluations or by an audiologist having the certificate of clinical competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association upon referral. Hearing handicap will be based on the functional state of both ears.
(b) The average of the hearing threshold levels at 500 Hz, 1,000 Hz, 2,000 Hz, and 3,000 Hz should be calculated for each ear. The percent of impairment for each ear should be calculated by multiplying by 1.5 the amount by which the above average hearing threshold level exceeds 25 dB up to a maximum of 100% which is reached at 92dB. The hearing handicap, a bilateral assessment, should then be calculated by multiplying the smaller percentage (better ear), by five, adding this figure to the larger percentage (poorer ear), and dividing the total by six.
(c) Since there is no exact scientific test by which non-industrial hearing losses can be distinguished from induced impairment, the opinion as to the amount of loss due to such other causes shall be made by the examining medical specialist.
(d) No consideration shall be given to possible improvements through use of prosthesis. Where artificial appliances would materially and beneficially improve the future usefulness and occupational opportunities of the employee, the insurer shall provide same, and shall continue to furnish the needed artificial appliance or appliances until a satisfactory fit is obtained in the judgment of the attending physician or physicians. The association shall be liable for replacing or repairing any artificial appliances so furnished.
(e) Such prosthesis shall be prescribed upon proper evaluation by a medical specialist who does hearing aid evaluations or by an audiologist having the certificate of clinical competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association upon referral. Such hearing and speech centers shall have no commercial properties.
(f) The above formula should be used in calculating the percentage of loss of hearing, but the doctor giving the report shall state specifically the exact loss of hearing in percentage, and not decibels.
(g) See examples and chart.
The provisions of this §55.30 adopted to be effective November 20, 1977, 2 TexReg 4320; amended to be effective September 18, 1981, 6 TexReg 3340; amended to be effective November 11, 1983, 8 TexReg 4496.