T (9 months) had an audiology appointment yesterday; it’s been about 6 weeks since his last appointment, and T’s audiologist wanted to try to continue to refine his behavioral audiogram. Like last time, she used Visually Reinforced Audiometry (VRA) to measure his behavioral responses to sounds at different frequencies. Since T has started pulling stuff out of his ears (like his hearing aids!), we put his pilot’s cap on to keep him from pulling the microphone wires out during the test – this worked great! T was in a bit of a feisty mood, which made testing difficult, but T’s audiologist was able to get some good responses before T called it quits. As before, the audiogram results continue to confirm a mild hearing loss.
One other thing T’s audiologist did today was measure Otoacoustic Emissions (OAEs). OAEs are really cool! The inner ear actually produces sounds, which is what the OAE test measures. During the test, a sound is played into the ear (using a microphone inserted into the ear), and sounds produced by the ear are then recorded. People with normal hearing have OAEs, but typically, people with more than a mild hearing loss won’t have OAEs. OAEs are the test that are most often used in newborn hearing screens – T had OAEs measured a few times when he was very little (<3 months old) and at that time, T’s audiologist was able to detect OAEs at a few frequencies (indicating that T has no more than a mild loss), and T’s audiologist wanted to repeat the test today to compare to the results from 6 months ago. Unfortunately, T was a bit restless during the test, and the recordings were really noisy, so I’m not sure we learned anything new from the OAEs recorded today. OAEs are a really interesting phenomenon that I don’t really know too much about, but I’m hoping to learn more and share what I learn with you!