Auditory Brainstem Response:
Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) uses electrodes placed on the head to measure neural activity in response to sound. This test is utilized to determine cochlear and neural function for children who cannot give reliable responses using Visual Reinforcement Audiometry (VRA) or conditioned play and for adults with hearing loss of certain pathologies. This test does not require participation and can be done while the patient is asleep or sedated. ABR is one assessment used as a screening tool in newborn hearing screening programs.
Otoacoustic Emissions (OAEs) are soft echoes produced by the outer hair cells in the inner ear when they are stimulated by sound. A small probe is inserted in the ear canal which produces sound and measures the tiny echo responses. These responses will be present in a normal hearing ear and absent if there is greater than a 25-30 decibel hearing loss. Much like ABR, no patient participation is necessary, so OAEs are commonly used for a screening tool in newborn hearing screening programs.