ABR Testing - Auditory Brainstem Response Tests


What is ABR testing?

The Auditory Brainstem Response Test evaluates the auditory nerve pathways from the inner ear to the brainstem.


How is the test performed?

This diagnostic test obtains auditory information without requiring the active participation of the patient. Very small sensors (surface electrode tabs) are placed on the forehead and behind the ear. Small foam ear phones are placed just inside the ear canal to present sounds into the ear. The testing begins when click sounds are introduced to the ears. The sounds may vary in intensity and tone but should never be uncomfortable. The nerve responses that are picked up by the electrodes and passed on to sophisticated equipment are measured and analyzed by the audiologist. It is painless and non-invasive. The patient is reclined in a comfortable chair. For best results, the patient is asked to close their eyes, relax, and remain as still as possible. The patient can feel free to fall asleep.


Why do I need an ABR?

The ABR test can be administered to provide an objective estimate of hearing sensitivity and/or evaluate various neural disorders in the auditory pathways. ABR testing may be performed in cases of asymmetric hearing loss, unilateral tinnitus, sudden hearing loss, or other auditory conditions.


What do I need to do before the test?

The only requirements for testing are that the patient’s ear canals must be relatively free of wax. If wax impaction has been a problem in the past, the patient may want to have their ears cleaned prior to the test. Cessation of medication and food does not apply for this test. This test takes approximately 60 minutes to administer.

Please call at least 24 hours in advance should you need to cancel or change this appointment. Failure to do so will result in a $50.00 fee, which you are responsible for. Thank you.

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