Auditory Brainstem Response Testing (ABR) is a useful diagnostic tool for measuring hearing when more conventional hearing tests cannot be used. The ABR is used to track nerve signals arising in the inner ear as they travel through the auditory nerve to the region of the brain responsible for hearing. An ABR is performed to help diagnose hearing losses, to assess neurologic function, and to diagnose nervous-system abnormalities. An Auditory Brainstem Response Test is performed by placing a small speaker in the ear which produces a clicking sound. Special electrodes automatically record the signal as it travels through the auditory pathway to the brain. The test reads the changes to brain waves in response to the signal. This test is objective and does not require participation from the patient. The patient can even sleep during the test. An Auditory Brainstem Response Testing is often performed on small infants since it requires no conscious response from the person being tested in order to measure their hearing sensitivity.
ABR can be used:
- as a screening procedure for newborns who are at risk for hearing loss
- as a diagnostic tool to identify infants and small children with a hearing loss
- to estimate hearing levels in difficult to test patients, i.e., developmentally delayed.
- to evaluate patients with suspected retrocochlear pathology
Contact BHSS for your next auditory brainstem response testing.