Otoacoustic Emissions OAE)
A test that uses a tiny, flexible earphone that is inserted into the baby's ear. Sounds are sent through the earphone. A microphone in the earphone records the otoacoustic emissions (responses) of the normal ear in reaction to the sounds. There are no emissions in a baby with some types of hearing loss. This test is painless and is usually completed within a few minutes, while the baby sleeps.
Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR)
A test that uses electrodes (wires) attached with adhesive to the baby's scalp. While the baby sleeps, clicking sounds are made through tiny earphones in the baby's ears. The test measures the brain's activity in response to the sounds. As in OAE, this test is painless.
ABR testing can be a screening or an evaluation. If a screening test identifies that your child has a hearing loss, further testing is needed. It is recommended that all babies with hearing loss be identified by 3 months of age so that treatment can begin before the baby is 6 months old, an important time for speech and language development.