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Traditional Hearing Testing

In order to successfully measure hearing, PENTA’s audiology team offers a wide variety of audiological testing that can help determine the type and degree of hearing loss in children of all ages. The following is a simple listing of the most common types of hearing testing provided by our audiologists.

Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR)

Age Range: All Ages

Auditory brainstem response (ABR) testing provides information about the softest levels of sound to which the ear responds. During ABR testing, small band aid-style electrodes are placed behind each ear and on the forehead. Sounds are then presented to the ears using small earphones. The electrodes pick up responses from the hearing nerve and these responses are analyzed by your audiologist using a computer.

An ABR will provide you with an understanding of the type and degree of hearing loss a child has in each ear. This is also known as “Frequency-specific ABR.”

ABR testing is the only test available for newborns and babies that can provide information about the softest level of sound to which each ear responds. The ABR completed by an audiologist is similar to the one used for newborn hearing screening in hospitals, however, the ABR completed by the audiologist gives more information about the amount of hearing loss that may be present at different pitches, as well as determines the type of hearing loss.

In newborns and babies up to 4-6 months testing can typically be performed while a baby is sleeping naturally.

In babies over 4-6 months and older children, sedation is usually required to obtain valid test results.

Otoacoustic Emissions (OAEs)

Age Range: All Ages

Diagnostic otoacoustic emissions are usually used in combination with ABR and hearing test results. A small earphone with a microphone is placed in the ear and tones are presented. The microphone then measures an echo response from the inner ear.

Otoacoustic emissions information helps define the degree of hearing loss a child has in each ear and aids in the diagnosis of Auditory Neuropath Spectrum Disorder (ANSD).

Visual Reinforced Audiometry (VRA)

Age Range: 6 months to 2.5 years

 With VRA, sounds are presented either through earphones or a loudspeaker. A child learns to respond to sounds by looking at animated toys or videos that are paired with the sounds. Testing this way, it is possible to get information about the child’s hearing across pitches in both ears or in the ear with the better hearing. Test results are graphed on an audiogram.

Conditioned Play Audiometry (CPA)

Age Range: 2.5 years to 5 years

CPA uses a game activity every time a sound is heard. One example is having a child drop a block in a bucket when a sound is heard. Sounds are usually presented through earphones and results are graphed on an audiogram. By testing this way it is possible to get information about a child’s hearing across pitches in both ears or in the better hearing ear.

Standard Audiometry

Age Range: 5 years and older

In standard audiometric testing your child will raise his or her hand or press a button each time a soft sound is heard. Sounds are presented through earphones and results are graphed on an audiogram. Testing this way it is possible to get information about a child’s hearing across pitches in both ears.

Tympanometry

Age Range: All Ages

Tympanometry tests how the eardrum and middle ear are working. This test is important because fluid or other problems in the middle ear can affect hearing. During a tympanogram test, a small earphone is placed in the ear canal and air pressure is gently changed. This test is helpful in showing if there is an ear infection or fluid in the middle ear. Children whose tympanometry results indicate the presence of middle ear fluid will be referred to their pediatrician or an ENT physician for follow-up

 To schedule an appointment call 404-250-2033 or 404-591-1884

Adapted from www.babyhearing.org