Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) Testing

This diagnostic test obtains auditory information without requiring the active participation of the patient. Very small sensors (electrode disks) are put on the forehead and earlobes using a paste and tape. Earphones (small foam plugs) are also placed just inside the ear canal to present loud and soft sounds. The equipment then records the hearing nerve's response to the clicks. For best results, a patient needs to be calm and quiet (or sleeping) for the test. We'll provide a nice quiet room with a cushy recliner to help with relaxation!

Instructions for Adult ABR Testing

You will be asked to relax and sleep for approximately one (1) hour. For this reason, do not drink any caffeinated beverages (coffee or soda pop) after midnight prior to the day of testing. You may eat prior to the test.

Parental Guide for Sleep-Deprived Infant ABR Testing

How to Ready for Your Baby's Test

The most accurate results will be obtained if your child is resting peacefully during the test. So, it is important that you follow these instructions:

1. Please keep your child up late the night before the test AND wake him/her up early the day of the test.

  • Please do not let your child take a nap on the day of the test - this includes keeping them awake during the car ride to the clinic.
  • Try to comfort your child and help him/her relax. (The faster your child falls asleep, the quicker the test can be completed.)
  • If you have other children who will need supervision during the test, please bring along another adult to supervise them.
  • Note - The testing cannot be performed if the child is awake.

2. Please make sure that your child is hungry.
  • Try to not feed your child until you arrive at the clinic - This can be done by postponing the last feeding until the test. (Once you have arrived at the clinic and the testing will start, you will be asked to feed your baby to help him/her fall asleep.)
3. Please bring a...
  • Bottle for your baby - We will ask you to feed your baby when starting the test, or be prepared to nurse;
  • Special blanket or favorite toy that will make your child feel comfortable.

How Long Will the Test Take?

Please expect this appointment to four (4) hours to complete.

How Will the Test Be Done?

Prior to beginning the test, the Audiologist will place electrodes on your child's head. Your child will feel nothing from these electrodes. Once your child is asleep or gently resting, the test can start.

Very small sensors (metal disks) are put on your child's forehead and earlobes using a gooey paste and tape. Soft, foam earphones are also gently placed in each ear, so your child can hear a series of rapid clicks. Your child's brain will respond to these sounds. The sensors will pick up these brain/nerve impulses so that the Audiologist can estimate your child's hearing ability.

Note - If your child has a history of middle ear infections and/or fluid, the fluid must be clear before an accurate test can be obtained. Please contact your child's pediatrician or Ear Doctor regarding the health of your child's ears.

Please do not hesitate to call our office 989-774-3904, and ask to speak with one of the Audiologists if you have any questions. If you are unable to keep your appointment, please call the office to reschedule. Failure to not notify the clinic prior to your appointment time may result in problems or delays with rescheduling for this very important test.

Facts About Infant Hearing Screening and Hearing Loss