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Pediatric hearing testing usually involves the following hearing tests:
Visual Reinforcement Audiometry
Visual Reinforcement Audiometry (VRA) is a behavioral audiometric test obtained in a sound-treated room. This test is used to measure the hearing of children age 7 months to 2 1/2 years. The child is seated on a parent's lap or in a chair between two calibrated loudspeakers, or using earphones. When a sound is presented, the infant's eye-shift or head-turn response toward the sound source is rewarded by activation of a lighted mechanical toy mounted near the loudspeaker.
Conditioned Play Audiometry is a behavioral test obtained in a sound-treated room, and is used to test the hearing of children age 2 1/2 years to 5 years. The child is shown how to perform a repetitive play task, such as placing a peg in a pegboard, each time he or she hears a sound. Accurate separate-ear audiograms by air and bone conduction may be obtained. If the child refuses to wear earphones or a bone conduction oscillator, the test can be administered in the sound field.
Otoacoustic Emissions (OAEs) are sounds that are produced by healthy ears in response to acoustic stimulation. This test is most appropriate for use in difficult-to-test patients: newborn infants, young children, and developmentally delayed populations. During testing, a probe is sealed into the ear canal which contains a sound generator, filter, and recording microphone. The speaker delivers the stimulus to the ear canal while the microphone samples the emission following stimulus presentation. The emission is recorded and displayed in graphical representation.
Auditory Brainstem Response Evaluations (ABR or BAER)
If you are the parent of a pediatric patient, there is some preparation for a pediatric audiology exam. Auditory Brainstem Response testing on newborns can only be done when the newborns are sleepy. If your doctor has recommended that your newborn undergo sedation for ABR testing, you will be given instructions by the staff at Hopkins Hearing. Please refer to Preparing for a Procedure.