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Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) Evaluations

boy patient

Infants, Toddlers, and Young Children:

The Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) evaluation is commonly used for infants and toddlers, or anyone who cannot cooperate with traditional hearing testing, to accurately measure hearing status. This computerized test evaluates how well sounds travel along the hearing nerve pathways from the ear to the brainstem. Four small electrodes will be attached to your child’s head so that the response to sound using a special computer can be recorded. The results will show the softest sounds your child's ears can detect at various pitches.

Older Children and Adults:

The Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) evaluation may be ordered for older children or adults following a traditional hearing test battery to further access the auditory nerve and the pathways along the brainstem. These pathways conduct sound from the inner ear to the brain. This test may be ordered if you are experiencing difficulty hearing conversational speech, have ringing in the ear(s), have a sensation of fullness in the ear(s) and/or balance problems. The results will show if there are any lesions such as an acoustic neuroma or other pathology which could be contributing to your symptoms and hearing loss. Furthermore, just as the ABR test can be used to estimate hearing levels in young children, it can also be used for adults to confirm traditional hearing evaluation results.

Last Published: Jul 9, 2018