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OAE – Oto Acoustic Emission

OAE – Oto Acoustic Emission

Otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) are sounds given off by the inner ear when the cochlea is stimulated by a sound. When sound stimulates the cochlea, the outer hair cells vibrate. The vibration produces a nearly inaudible sound that echoes back into the middle ear. The sound can be measured with a small probe inserted into the ear canal.

cPeople with normal hearing produce emissions. Those with hearing loss greater than 25–30 decibels (dB) do not produce these very soft sounds. The OAE test is often part of a newborn hearing screening program. This test can detect blockage in the outer ear canal, as well as the presence of middle ear fluid and damage to the outer hair cells in the cochlea.

The 4 types of oto acoustic emissions are as follows:

  • Spontaneous otoacoustic emissions (SOAEs) – Sounds emitted without an acoustic stimulus (ie, spontaneously)
  • Transient otoacoustic emissions (TOAEs) or transient evoked otoacoustic emissions (TEOAEs) – Sounds emitted in response to an acoustic stimuli of very short duration; usually clicks but can be tone-bursts
  • Distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) – Sounds emitted in response to 2 simultaneous tones of different frequencies
  • Sustained-frequency otoacoustic emissions (SFOAEs) – Sounds emitted in response to a continuous tone



Procedure for Test:

This is a non-invasive test which requires a small plug to be inserted in the ear and a series of tones or clicks are presented to the patient. The test takes place in the sound booth and the patient is required to be still and quiet throughout testing.

OAE is used to analyze the following:

  1. Blockage in the outer ear canal
  2. Presence of middle ear fluid
  3. Damage to the outer hair cells in the cochlea

How long does the test take?
The test will range from 15-30 minutes. 

How will I receive my results?
Our audiologist will share the test results immediately after completion of test. If required test result will be emailed to you accordingly.