Otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) are inaudible sounds that are emitted by the inner ear when the cochlea – the auditory portion of the inner ear – is stimulated by a sound. When the cochlea is stimulated, the outer hair cells vibrate, producing OAEs. The absence or reduction of OAEs can help explain why some people have tinnitus. OAE testing is also frequently used as a screening method to determine whether an individual is experiencing hearing loss, and to test for ototoxicity – damage to the cochlea as a result of medication that is toxic to the ear.
OAE testing is a noninvasive method that does not require a verbal response from the individual being tested, making it an ideal method for infants and special populations. In OAE testing, a small probe, designed to record OAEs, is inserted into the ear canal. A soft tone is played, and if an emission is present, it is likely that your hearing is normal at that particular frequency.
Hearing Evaluation Services (HES) assesses the results from your OAE test, alongside your hearing evaluation and any additional tests to determine the nature and degree of your tinnitus. We are then able to make recommendations based on your individual needs. With a team of highly educated audiologists who specialize in tinnitus, HES promises that a tinnitus specialist will be available to address your unique concerns throughout testing and treatment.
Contact any of our HES locations to schedule a tinnitus appointment, and learn more about various testing methods. Through support and a comprehensive treatment plan, we can help you manage your tinnitus, so you can regain control of your life.