Acoustic Brainstem Responses – ABR/BERA
ABR is used to confirm a hearing loss in children who fail an OAE test. This test is also used to in adults to investigate illnesses of the hearing nerve and also to confirm hearing loss in adults.
This test requires that the patient is asleep. The skin is cleaned on the forehead and on the earlobes. Electrodes are placed over the clean surface. Usually are placed over the ears and sound is transmitted to the patient.
These tests are completely painless and may require that medication be given to cause the child to sleep. For young children the need for medication can be eliminated by feeding the child just before you come for test, as young children often sleep after a meal or are more relaxed. An attempt can also be made to synchronize the test time with the baby’s natural sleeping time. For older children we advice the parents to let the child stay up late the night before and to wake up early on the day of the test, so that the child is tired and sleepy when they come to the clinic.
A normal hearing classical reproducible ABR waves are obtained. With hearing loss the sound required to obtain the waves is much higher; in profound hearing loss no ABR waves are obtained.
These tests are given by a doctor in half to one hour.