Auditory Brainstem Response (ABRs)

Dear Readers,

Have you ever wondered how audiologists can diagnose or rule out hearing loss in patients who are difficult to test? How does an audiologist know how loud they need to set hearing aids for someone who can’t provide feedback? Take for example, infants, very young children, people with significant developmental disorders or other imparements – they can’t always acknowledge when they hear tones during a routine hearing test, nor can they always provide accurate feedback to the audiologist when programming their hearing aids. In these cases, audiologists need to employ alternative testing methods, and this is where auditory brainstem response (ABR) testing comes in.

You may have seen on my website that I provide various forms of testing outside of the standard hearing assessment. I’m pleased to say that I’m one of few private audiology clinics in the GTA routinely performing ABRs.

An ABR is a test whereby various sensors placed on a patient are able to detect the brain’s physiological response to hearing a sound. The test can determine the softest sounds a person can hear without the need for feedback from the patient – the equipment measures their brain’s response to sounds. (You can read more about the equipment I use here)

By performing these tests in a private setting with state-of-the-art equipment, I am able to complete a thorough assessment, focus on the unique needs of my patients, and provide the results to a family physician or specialist within 48 hours. In contrast with the possibility of wait times at GTA hospitals of up to 4 months, appointments for an ABR are typically available within 1 week in my clinic.

If your child or someone you know requires an ABR and you would like to arrange a test, or if you have questions about the testing process, please contact me at your convenience.

Thanks for reading.

Mahsa