Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE)
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What is Otoacoustic Emissions?
Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) purpose is to determine the cochlear status, mainly hair cell function. It can be done for children and adults of all ages. OAE are mainly used for these findings:
- universal newborn hearing screening (particularly in neonates, infants, or individuals with developmental disabilities),
- partially estimate hearing sensitivity within a limited range,
- to differentiate between the sensory (hair cells) or neural components of sensorineural hearing loss (brain), and
- test for functional (feigned) hearing loss.
How is an OAE performed?
A small earphone, or probe, is placed in the ear. The probe puts sounds into the ear and measures the sounds that comes back. As the test is objective and no behavioral response is required, the information can be obtained while patient is sleeping or even comatose. You do not need to do or say anything during the test. The person doing the test will be able to see the results on the monitor screen.
What does the OAE probe measures?
A normal cochlea receives sound as well as produces low-intensity sounds called OAEs. These sounds are produced specifically by the cochlea and, most probably, by the cochlear outer hair cells as they move.
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