Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) Evaluation

The auditory brainstem response test (also known as ABR or BAER) is used for two purposes:

  • To test hearing thresholds

  • To assess the functional status of the auditory neural pathway, which is used to determine the cause of hearing loss and candidacy for hearing loss treatments

ABR Test: What Happens

This test is painless and noninvasive. The audiologist attaches adhesive recording electrodes on the forehead and ears, and captures and analyzes recordings of electric potentials generated by the auditory neural pathway — the network of nerves that move from the ears to the brain.

This procedure is performed while the patient is lying down in the sound booth. It is important to remain still and quiet throughout the test, which means that some infants and young children may require sedation as part of preparing for the procedure.

The test takes one to two hours. Your audiologist will share your results with you after the test.

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