Otoacoustic Emissions OAE)
A test that measures sounds produced by the inner ear (cochlea). A soft plastic tip is inserted into the baby's ear and a microphone records the responses (otoacoustic emissions) of the ear in reaction to the sounds. There are no emissions with some types of hearing loss. This test is painless and is usually completed within a few minutes, while the baby sleeps or is sitting still.
Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR)
A test that uses electrodes (wires) attached with adhesive to the baby's head. While the baby sleeps, clicking sounds are made through tiny earphones in the baby's ears. The test measures the pathway of sound from the hearing nerve to the brain stem, which allows us to estimate the child’s hearing activity in response to the sounds. This test is painless.
ABR testing is used as 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.