Auditory brainstem response (ABR) testing is a type of hearing test that measures the electrical activity in the auditory nerve and brainstem in response to sound. ABR testing is often used to diagnose hearing problems in newborns and young children, as well as to monitor changes in hearing over time.
During the test, small electrodes are placed on the scalp and earlobes to detect the electrical activity in the auditory pathway. Sounds are then played into the ear, and the electrodes record the electrical activity as it travels from the ear to the brainstem. The results are then analyzed by a computer, which generates a waveform that can be used to diagnose hearing problems.
ABR testing can be used to detect a variety of hearing problems, including hearing loss caused by nerve damage or other disorders of the auditory system. It can also be used to monitor changes in hearing over time, such as in patients who are receiving treatment for hearing loss or who have undergone cochlear implant surgery.
ABR testing is a safe and non-invasive test that can be performed on people of all ages, including infants and young children. The test is usually performed by an audiologist or other hearing healthcare professional.