Electrophysiological evaluations are objective tests that measure of auditory function. Two of the most common are Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) and Electrocochleography (ECochG) testing which both measure electrical activity that occurs in response to sound. Your doctor may refer you for these evaluations for a variety of reasons.
AUDITORY BRAINSTEM RESPONSE (ABR) TEST
Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) testing is a non-invasive test of the neural auditory pathway. It is often used to either assess auditory nerve function or to estimate hearing levels. ABR testing is often recommended for patients with a hearing loss in one ear or those with unequal hearing loss between ears. In addition, an ABR may be given to patients with other complaints (unsteadiness, ringing in the ears, etc.). ABR testing is used to determine the hearing abilities of infants, young children, and other hard to test populations.
Sounds are presented through an insert earphone while small surface electrodes (on the ears and forehead) pick-up the response to sound from the inner ear (cochlea) and auditory nerve. The lights will be turned off and the patient will be asked to relax with eyes closed during the test, no responses are needed. Generally, the test takes approximately 45 minutes to one hour to complete.
ELECTROCOCHLEOGRAPHY (ECochG) TESTING
Electrocochleography (ECochG) testing is a non-invasive test of the inner ear and the auditory nerve. ECochG testing is recommended for patients suspected of Meniere’s Disease/Endolymphatic Hydrops. Individuals may experience symptoms such as tinnitus, fullness of the ear, fluctuating hearing loss, nausea, and dizziness.
Clicks are presented through an insert earphone while small surface electrodes (on the ears and forehead) pick-up the response to sound from the inner ear (cochlea). The lights will be turned off and the patient will be asked to with eyes closed during the test, no responses are needed. The test takes one hour to complete.
PREPARING FOR VNG TESTING
Because of the nature of the tests, there are some preparations you will need to make before your evaluation. Our staff will provide you with clear instructions on how to prepare for your examination. In order to obtain the best results avoid taking any stimulants for 24 hours prior to the tests (coffee, tea). For the ECochG testing if possible discontinue medication prescribed for Meniere’s Disease/Endolymphatic Hydrops (Dyazide, Hydroclorothiazide, HCTZ) for 24 hours prior to the testing. Please refrain from wearing face makeup, foundations, concealers, powders, sunscreens, or heavy moisturizers as they may interfere with the electrodes. If you have any questions about your instructions or how to prepare for the test, ask your Audiologist.