How do you interpret OAE results?
OAE results for discrete test frequencies or limited frequency regions may be analyzed separately and then reported according to one of three outcome categories: 1) normal (OAE amplitudes are within a defined normal region), 2) abnormal but present (e.g., OAEs are > 6 dB above the noise floor but below normal limits).
What is OAE testing?
The otoacoustic emission test (OAE) measures hair cell function in the inner ear. An emission refers to the sound generated within the normal cochlea of the ear in response to stimulation. OAE testing is used for a number of reasons, including screening of infants and other special populations.
What is the difference between OAE and ABR?
The ABR records activity at the level of the brainstem in response to sounds played through earphones. The OAE screening measures the function of the outer hair cells, but does not measure a response from the auditory nerve. The hair cells respond to sound by vibrating.
Does OAE test hearing?
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.
Why do we do OAE?
The OAE test is used to find out how well your inner ear, or cochlea, works. It measures otoacoustic emissions, or OAEs. These are sounds given off by the inner ear when responding to a sound.
What produces OAE?
The normal cochlea does not just receive sound; it also 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 expand and contract.
How accurate is OAE?
Although the test is relatively accurate, it sometimes fails to detect hearing impairments. This is known as a “false negative” test result. Sometimes newborns with normal hearing get a wrong diagnosis after having an OAE test: Although they can hear well, they are mistakenly diagnosed as being hard of hearing.
What is the screening environment for OAE?
The screening environment is free from visual distractions and interruptions. There are currently no ANSI standards regarding the OAE screening environment. It is important to ensure that adherence to universal precautions and appropriate infection control procedures are in place during screenings.
What is the optimal frequency range for screening OAEs?
For a screening protocol, you limit the frequencies to those that are critical for speech understanding and away from the noise floor. Fewer frequencies per octave is perfectly adequate. I would definitely replicate the results whenever you are performing any of these OAEs.
What are OAEs and ABR in newborn screening?
In another course in this series, I will be talking about the use of OAEs with automated ABR in newborn screening. It is an application of the cross-check principle to hearing screening. By putting together these two tests (OAEs and ABR), the results are far superior than using either test alone as a screening measure.
Is OAE measurement in children and adults evidence based?
Figure 1. JCIH protocol for evaluation for hearing loss in infants from birth to six months. The first assumption is that OAE measurement in children and adults is evidence-based. You are justified in doing it and charging for it. The second assumption is that most audiologists do not utilize OAEs adequately.