OAE stands for otoacoustic emissions, the term for the sounds produced by the cochlea. These sounds can be used to examine the job of the cochlea (specifically hair cell function) and other parts of the ear, including the auditory nerve.
The OAE test is used to discover how well your inner ear, or cochlea, works. It measures otoacoustic emissions, or OAEs. These are sounds given off by the inner ear when answering to a sound. Inside the ear, there are hair cells that respond to sound by vibrating.
How is OAE done?
Two types of newfound hearing screening tests are used to examine hearing in babies. Both tests are harmless and comfortable. One is Otoacoustic Emissions and other is Auditory Brainstem Response. The OAE or otoacoustic emission, we put a little ear probe in the baby's ear canal and then play a sound and the ear sends back an echo.
Otoacoustic Emissions Test (OAEs)
A tiny earphone and microphone are placed in the ear, sounds are played, and a response is recorded. If a baby hears normally, an echo is reflected into the ear canal and is recorded by the microphone. When a baby has a hearing loss, no echo or a reduced echo can be recorded on the OAE test.
Auditory Brainstem Response Test (ABR)
Auditory brainstem response (ABR) testing is an excellent test available for newborns and infants up to 6 months of age that can deliver information about the softest level of sound the ear can hear.
Sounds are played to the infant's ears and band-aid like electrodes are placed on the infant's head to detect responses. Sounds are heard by the ears using small earphones. The electrodes pick up responses from the hearing nerve and a computer records the responses to recognize babies who have a hearing loss.