Otoacoustic emissions are sound reflections from the hearing cells in the inner ear which are measured in the patient’s ear canal. Research has shown that these sound reflections are more sensitive to early effects of noise exposure and ear toxic (ototoxic) chemicals, even when standard behavioral hearing tests are normal.
Further, these sound reflections are instrumental in identifying a condition known as Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum (ANS) Disorder which has been shown to affect 10% of children with reported hearing problems and an equal number of adults.
This ANS disorder is associated with a variety of disorders, especially those that occur due to poor neural connections at the base (synapse) of the hearing cells.
Finally, this test is useful in ruling out a hearing loss in neonates as well as uncooperative patients of any age.