What Is BERA Hearing Test And Why It Is Always Recommended For Infants?
Brainstem Evoked Response Audiometry (BERA) hearing test evoked response audiometry in children with hearing loss and delayed speech is a neurophysiological method for the evaluation of the hearing threshold and diagnosing retrocochlear lessons.
What is BERA Hearing Test ?The BERA hearing test is an electrophysiological test procedure that helps in identifying and studying the electrical potential generated at various levels of the auditory system, starting from the cochlea to the cortex. However, there are many pure tones and impedance audiometric tests that are specially designed to differentiate between cochlear and retrocochlear hearing loss, but BERA is the most accurate and sensitive for the diagnosis of lesions in the VIII nerve and auditory pathway in the brainstem, especially in adults. It is also non-invasive, easily recordable, not affected by sedation, anesthesia, or age, and the most cost-effective method for diagnosing retrocochlear lesions.
According to various studies, approximately 1 in every 1000 children is born with some hearing disorder or completely deaf. That is why it is advised to go for the early diagnosis of hearing impairment so that a rehabilitative procedure can take place as soon as possible which helps speech and language development.
Moreover, many times it is impossible to perform pure tone audiometric tests on children, but BERA provides a rapid and efficient way to screen for deafness in infants. This hearing test is the most specific and sensitive test for brain stem dysfunction as it is one of the most important objective methods for evaluating the peripheral auditory system in neonates, infants, sedated and comatose patients, and other people who don’t understand the language.
Why Is the BERA Test Done?From the beginning, the skin of the child is very sensitive, so it is impossible to carry forward with heavy machines and tests to identify hearing loss. We all know that hearing loss or late detection and intervention of hearing may cause many problems like speech, language, cognitive, social, and emotional problems. Therefore, it is always suggested by the experts to get your child’s hearing screening as early as possible.
Healthy hearing is very important when it comes to several developments. However, healthy hearing consists of the auditory nerve that can transmit sound impulses from the ear to the brain at a certain speed. This BERA test at our Asha Speech and Hearing clinics can provide information on whether nerves convey sound impulses to the brain and whether the speed of sound delivery is within normal limits under the proper supervision of our experts.
With the help of this hearing examination, the experts can determine the type of abnormality (conductive or sensorimotor), severity (hearing threshold), and hearing loss (inner ear or other parts) of the child.
Moreover, in determining the hearing threshold, the BERA Hearing Test is also used in the otoneurologic diagnosis and is useful for patients with unilateral or asymmetrical hearing loss like hearing nerve tumors, brain tumors, other nerve disorders, multiple sclerosis, etc.
How is the BERA Test Conducted?BERA hearing test is an objective means of eliciting brain stem potentials in response to audiological stimuli which mostly click stimuli. However, it is generally used to identify any pathology in the vestibulocochlear nerve or the brainstem. The test is especially recommended for infants who are at high risk for hearing loss and in whom conventional audiometry cannot be performed because of their sensitive skin.
This test is performed with the help of electrodes which help to record the potentials which are placed on the scalp. BERA is an effective screening tool for evaluating cases of hearing loss due to retrocochlear pathology i.e. (Acoustic schwannoma). An MRI scan may be indicated if there is an Abnormal BERA in such cases. BERA test should be supplemented by other audiological test batteries to know the site of the lesion and plan management accordingly.
BERA hearing test is used in various circumstances which are as follows:-
- Used in screening newborns for deafness
- Used for intra-operative monitoring of central and peripheral nervous system
- Monitoring patients in intensive care units
- Diagnosing suspected demyelinated disorders
At Asha’s speech and hearing clinic, we provide BERA Hearing Tests with the proper supervision of our professional experts. This hearing test is a very reliable tool through which a child’s hearing ability can be easily tested. Our team of experts uses a special computer to measure the way the child’s hearing nerve responds to different sounds. Our main aim is to provide healthy hearing and life to each and everyone out there.