What is an OAE Test?


If you’ve become worried because you feel your young child can’t hear you, you might bring it up with the pediatrician. While your child’s primary care doctor can test the child’s hearing to a certain extent, he or she will typically recommend you see an Audiologist for an OAE hearing test in Laredo. If this sounds like the situation you’re in, it’s understandable you might have some questions. What is an OAE test, and should you take your child to have it done?

What is OAE Testing?

OAE Testing stands for Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) Testing. Otoacoustic emissions are sounds that a small part of the ear’s cochlea gives off. When soft clicking sounds stimulate it, there are hair cells in the outer ear that vibrate. That vibration sends echoes back to the middle ear.

Pediatric Otoacoustic Emissions Test Procedure

Otoacoustic emissions testing is a part of our pediatric test protocol. We use the results of this test along with other tests to evaluate your child’s hearing. It is appropriate for all ages and can give the Audiologist more information about a specific part of your inner ear.

OAE testing is completed with a soft rubber or foam tip inserted into the child’s ear. The child will only hear a soft sound, and the computer will record the soft echoes. You, your child, and anyone else in the room will need to be still and quiet for the test, which only lasts a few minutes.

There is no harm in getting the test done. Your child will not be uncomfortable or injured in any way. This test is very sensitive to noise and movement. Depending on the age of the child, we may request that testing be performed while the child is asleep.

When To Have an OAE Test Done?

Your pediatrician might recommend otoacoustic emissions testing in Laredo after you voice your concerns about a child’s hearing issues, but what signs are you supposed to look for, to begin with? Some signs that might indicate a hearing loss in a child include:

• Frequent inattentiveness

• Failure to respond to his or her own name

• Feelings of frustration at commotion or lots of noise

• Turning the TV or other electronics louder when everyone else can hear them just fine

• Difficulty in learning new things

• Limited speech, or no speech at all

• Failure to respond to easy conversation

If you’re still unsure whether this test might be right for your child, consider some typical hearing milestones for children in their first year of life. For example:

• A newborn should startle at loud noises.

• At three months old, a baby should already recognize his or her parents’ voices.

• At six months old, a baby will turn his or her head around when a noise is heard.

• At one year old, a baby will typically imitate simple sounds and words.

Professional OAE Hearing Tests Near Laredo, TX

Understandably you have some questions when your child’s health is in question. If you’re worried about OAE testing or have more questions, contact Oliveira Audiology & Hearing Center today in Laredo at 956-727-3801 to speak with a professional.

Featured Image / By rumruay

Masks encouraged for patients.