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Hearing testing
  By Brent McNeill, M.A., Registered Audiologist
   
   
  Otoacoustic Emissions (OAEs) are sounds that are naturally produced by the activity of the inner ear. OAEs are present when there are healthy cells (called outer hair cells) in the hearing part of the inner ear called the cochlea. When there is damage or dysfunction of the hearing system in the cochlea, the outer hair cells do not produce measurable sounds, and this is associated with hearing loss. This type of hearing loss may be due to aging, noise exposure, hereditary factors, medications, or various other factors associated with hearing loss.

The sound produced by the ear (OAEs) can be measured by extremely sensitive microphones placed in the ear canal. The benefits of OAE testing are:
 
   
  • Our measure of OAEs is sensitive enough to detect hair cell damage in the cochlea that indicates a mild hearing loss or even the probability of future hearing loss. This is especially useful for detecting early signs of hearing loss for people who are concerned about a family history of hearing problems, or for people who are concerned about hearing damage caused by loud noise (e.g. musicians, industrial workers, hunters).

• OAE measures can be used to monitor the effects of medications that are associated with hearing loss. Changes in the health of outer hair cells may be detected before a significant hearing loss is caused by the medication.

• OAEs are measured at many different frequencies (tone pitches). This provides the audiologist with a measure of outer hair cell function (and potential hearing loss) at specific areas of the inner ear.

• Another important benefit of measuring OAEs is the fact that the client does not have to respond during testing. It is completely automatic, and all that is required is about 10 minutes in a relatively quiet room. This is particularly useful for measuring infants, the critically ill and individuals who are mentally or physically unable to do other testing.
   
  OAE testing can also better determine the root cause of hearing loss for each individual. If you have any questions about this test or the fascinating mechanisms of our hearing system, please give us a call.
   
  Science of hearing
   
  Schedule an appointment:
  Our friendly staff will be happy to discuss your particular needs and schedule an appointment with one of our registered audiologists.
   
  Victoria BC, location - 250.370.2833
  Sidney BC, location - 250.656.2218
   
 
 
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