Otoacoustic Emission Testing
The OAE (Otoacoustic Emissions) test checks part of the inner ear’s response to sound. The test is mostly done on infants and children who may not be able to respond to behavioral hearing tests because of their age. Otoacoustic emissions are sounds given off by one small part of the cochlea when it is stimulated by soft clicking sounds. When the sound stimulates the cochlea, the outer hair cells vibrate. The vibration produces a nearly inaudible sound that echoes back into the middle ear. Soft foam or rubber tips are placed in your child’s ear. Your child will hear soft sounds through the soft foam or rubber tips. A computer will record quiet echoes from the ear.