What are OAEs?

Print anything with Printful

Otoacoustic emissions are sounds that come from inside the ear and can be used to assess ear health. They occur spontaneously or in response to sound and can be used to test for hearing loss in children and adults. The test is not painful and involves placing a probe in the outer ear.

Otoacoustic emissions are sounds that come from inside the ear. Researchers had speculated that such emissions had been occurring since the early 20th century, but they weren’t confirmed until the 1920s, when scientists finally had equipment sensitive enough to record otoacoustic emissions. In addition to being of general interest, otoacoustic emissions are also of clinical relevance, as they can be used to assess ear health.

Researchers divide these sounds into two broad categories: spontaneous and evoked otoacoustic emissions. Spontaneous emissions occur in the absence of an external stimulus, while evoked emissions are generated in response to sound. Evoked emissions can be triggered with short tones and bursts of transient emissions, generated in response to sustained tones in sustained frequency emissions, or arise in response to two conflicting tones in distortion emissions.

These emissions occur in the cochlea, the part of the ear responsible for hearing. Otoacoustic emissions occur when hairs in the cochlea, designed to amplify sound, vibrate, generating a whole new sound. In some people with hearing impairments, otoacoustic emissions may be muffled, absent, or distorted because their cochlea don’t function as they normally would. With a microphone, these sounds can be picked up and amplified so that they can be heard.

In otoacoustic emissions tests, a probe is placed in the outer ear to listen for emissions. The highly sensitive probe works most effectively when a room is totally silent, with the test taking around 15 minutes, even if the test subject is very young, the procedure can be a little more complicated. This test is used to test for possible hearing loss in children who cannot participate in hearing tests that require a voluntary response on the part of the subject, and can also be used to assess the severity of hearing loss or impairment in children. adults.

There isn’t much preparation needed for this type of medical test, and the test isn’t painful, although the probe in the ear may feel strange. Although the study participant may be able to hear various tones or sounds, she does not need to respond to them. Your doctor will use the test data to determine if your hair cells are functioning properly. A number of things can affect the results of an otoacoustic emissions test, so if the results seem to suggest hearing damage, a doctor may recommend a retest and further diagnostic testing.

Protect your devices with Threat Protection by NordVPN

Skip to content