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Auditory Brainstem Response Testing

Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) is a test that measures how well the sound travels from your child’s ear to the level of the brainstem, which is the lower part of the brain. ABR responses are recorded by placing 3-4 stickers called electrodes on your child’s head and behind the ears. These stickers record how your child’s brain responds to sounds that are played via earphones placed in your child’s ears.

By placing the electrodes on your child’s head we are able to record and track the brain’s response to different sounds.  A variety of sounds of low, middle and high pitch are presented through the earphones while the baby is sleeping. Sounds begin at louder volumes and gradually get softer. The audiologist will analyze the waveforms on the computer that will indicate if the brain is responding to sounds. If a waveform is present at a soft volume, normal hearing is identified. If a waveform is only present at louder volumes, hearing loss is identified. Using this test, the audiologist can determine the amount of hearing loss at different pitches.

What is the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program (EHDI)?

EHDI is a program that ensures that all babies born in Georgia are screened for hearing loss at birth. EHDI requires a re-screen either at the hospital prior to discharge or as an outpatient visit for babies who do not pass the initial hearing screen. EHDI guidelines state that infants should have a diagnostic ABE test by 3 months of age. If hearing aids are recommended, the fitting should be completed by no later than 6 months of age, sooner if possible. EHDI recommends that a diagnostic ABR appointment be scheduled for all babies who do not pass the re-screen for identification of hearing loss as early as possible.

How to schedule an appointment

PENTA offers non-sedated diagnostic ABR services at the Marietta, Alpharetta, and the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite campus locations. PENTA also offers screening ABR services at the Marietta location.

Call our office at 404-255-2033 to make an appointment or to speak directly with an audiologist.  If you have the screening results and hospital name where your child was born when you call, this will help us assist in scheduling your appointment correctly.

References

Georgia Universal Newborn Hearing Screening and Intervention Program- http://health.state.ga.us/programs/unhs/

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); www.asha.org  

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh-Auditory Brainstem Response Test ttp://www.chp.edu/CHP/Auditory+Brainstem+Response  

Crumley, W. (2011). Good practices in auditory brainstem response, part 1. Retrieved August 28, 2013, from www.audiologyonline.com

Hood, L. (1995). Estimating auditory function with auditory evoked potentials. The Hearing Journal, 48(10), P32-42. http://journals.lww.com/thehearingjournal/pages/default.aspx