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Ask the Experts
The Brainstem Evoked Response Audiometry is a diagnostic test and the neurophysiological method of diagnosing and evaluating the structural and functional integrity of the hearing path from the inner ear to the midbrain. This procedure has various names like Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR), Brainstem Auditory Evoked Potential (BAEP), Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response (BAER) and Evoked Response Audiometry (ERA).
Visual Evoked potential is a diagnostic test that is used to measure how well your vision system is working. The activities are recorded on the system through the electrodes which are placed on the back of your head. Doctor uses this test to measure how much time visual stimulus takes to travel from the eye to the occipital cortex.
Why is BERA done?
BERA is used to detect any disorder in the vestibulocochlear nerve up to the brainstem. This test is mainly recommended to the kids who are at a high-risk for hearing loss such as hyperactive, intellectually impaired or the kids who are unable to respond to conventional audiometry. Doctors recommended this test to the person or infants who have:
- Family history of congenital hearing loss
- Hyperbilirubinemia or high bilirubin levels
- Deformities or malformations of the head and face
- Head Injury
- Parental concerns about hearing levels in the child
Why is VEP done?
VEP is a non-invasive, safe, painless test to detect the problems related to the vision system. Doctors use visual stimuli from a system in different patterns and contrast to get the electrical response from the retina. This test is recommended to the people who are experiencing the changes in their vision due to some problems related to the nerves. Here are some symptoms when you should go for the VEP test:
- Loss of vision
- Double vision
- Blurred vision
- Flashing lights
- Alterations in color vision
- Weakness of the eyes, arms or legs
How is BERA done?
You may be asked to lie down on the bed or reclining chair and stimuli are given in the form of tone pip or a click sound through earphones or headphones and the frequency may vary ranging from 1000 to 4000 Hz. Later the impulse’s waveforms are produced and recorded by the electrodes that are attached at various places over the scalp.
For infants, it is usually done when they are sleeping. This procedure takes about 1- 2 hours without anesthesia and with anesthesia, it takes 4 hours.
How is VEP done?
Your doctor asks you to sit in front of the screen and they clean the three small areas of the head and attached the sensory pads on those areas to detect the brain waves. Then the technician asks you to close one eye at a time and asks you to focus on the center of the screen and the screen displays the different patterns that quickly reverse. Reading will be recorded through the sensory pads. Once the procedure is done, sensory pads have been removed. This procedure will take about 45 minutes.
Tips to remember for BERA:
- Your doctor may ask you to feed your baby and make them comfortable.
- Don’t feed your baby during the procedure and let your baby sleep.
Tips to remember for VEP:
- Wash your hair the night before the test or on the same day but do not apply any chemicals like conditioners, sprays, gels, oils or lotions.
- If you wear glasses, then do not forget to bring with you.
- If you are on any medication, tell your doctor first.