The Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) Evaluation is a way to measure how well each ear can pick up sounds and how well the hearing nerve sends the information to the brain. The test does not require participation from the child. It is commonly done on infants and small children, or anyone who cannot or will not cooperate with routine testing.
Children will need to be asleep for the test. You can help us by not allowing your child to sleep during the two- to four-hour period preceding the test.
During the evaluation, you will be able to hold your child in your arms, or you may choose to have him rest on a bed. Most children will have sedation, which will be administered by mouth by a registered nurse. There are, however, circumstances in which an IV medication or anesthesia may be used. Before your child’s appointment, you will receive a phone call to discuss sedation or anesthesia.
Once your child is asleep, the skin on the forehead and behind each ear will be gently cleaned, and small sensors will be placed on those areas. The sensors will be attached to a special computer, and small earphones will be placed in the ears. Sounds will be presented though the earphones, and a computer will obtain brainwave activity. These waveforms are analyzed to determine whether the ears are detecting sounds.
When the test is finished, your child will be awakened, and the audiologist will discuss the test results and any necessary recommendations.