Inner ear and cochlea
Otoacoustic Emissions Testing
Otoacoustic Emission (OAE) Audiometry is an objective test administered to find out how well the inner ear and cochlea works. It is commonly used to assess younger children who have identified risk factors for future hearing concerns.
The primary purpose of a OAE test is to determine cochlear status, specifically hair cell function. This information can be used to:
1. Screen hearing (particularly in neonates, infants, or individuals with developmental disabilities)
2. Partially estimate hearing sensitivity within a limited range
3. Differentiate between the sensory and neural components of sensorineural hearing loss
4. Test for functional (feigned) hearing loss. The information can be obtained from patients who are sleeping or even comatose, because no behavioural response is required.