What is the BERA test? 

The BERA (Brainstem Evoked Reaction Audiometry) test is an otorhinolaryngological examination that assesses brain and auditory function in response to a sound stimulus. Our BERA test estimates the nerve impulses transit rate along the auditory nerve. Following that, the test is analyzed for around an hour. Our audiology expert in Otorhinolaryngology interprets and tests the results.

It is a method of inducing brain stem potentials in response to audiological click stimuli that is completely objective. Electrodes are inserted in the scalps to generate waves in this procedure. It is used to test newborns for hearing loss, evaluate the kind and level of hearing loss, diagnose auditory nerve and brainstem lesions, and design cochlear implants. This procedure is completely risk-free and painless as our experts in Otorhinolaryngology have the experience and know-how to make the procedure comfortable for patients. 

Why BERA test?

Hearing is regarded as a critical ability in humans. Hearing is contingent upon the neurons that transmit nerve signals. A healthy hearing nerve delivers nerve impulses at a constant rate from the inner ear to the brain stem. The BERA test measures how quickly nerve impulses reach the brain and Central Nervous System (CNS). If there is a delay, this might signify a hearing loss. Thus, the kind of hearing loss (conductive, sensorineural, or mixed), its severity (intensity or hearing threshold), and the degree of hearing loss are determined (i.e. internal or higher part of hearing).

Apart from measuring hearing intensity, our BERA test is also used in otolaryngology to diagnose individuals with asymmetric or unilateral hearing loss. These include auditory nerve tumors, brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, and degenerative sensorimotor neuropathy.

Our BERA test procedure

Preparing the patient

The patient is requested to lie down in a reclining chair or bed and remain motionless. It’s normally done when it comes to newborns while they’re asleep. Stimulus is delivered through an earphone or a headphone in the form of a click sound or a tone pip—the stimulus variable in volume and frequency range from 1000 to 4000 Hz. Oil-free hair is required. Before the test, the person being tested is encouraged to take a shampoo bath. The BERA technique still requires a lot of lying. As a result, the person or newborn may be given a mild sedative to put them to sleep during the surgery.

Performing Brainstem Evoked Response Audiometry Test

The BERA is a valuable instrument for assessing a child’s hearing capacity. We use a specialized computer to assess the child’s hearing nerve’s response to various noises in this test.

Three to four little stickers, known as “electrodes, ” will be placed on your child’s head and in front of their ears and linked to a computer. As sounds are produced via the earphones, the electrodes record the response of your child’s hearing nerves.Our hearing expert examines your child’s hearing nerves as they react to noises for particular neurological “markers.” The lowest intensity or loudness at which these indicators emerge closely correlates to the child’s hearing level in that frequency range or pitch. The audiologist can determine whether your kid has a hearing issue by examining a computer printout of your child’s replies and interpreting these signals.

Indications of BERA

BERA test is done to locate the source of the hearing loss. As a hearing screening test in hyperactive, mentally ill, or other youngsters who might not respond to traditional audiometry. From the vestibulocochlear nerve to the brainstem, the test detects abnormalities. Hearing loss that is more noticeable in one ear than the other is known as asymmetric hearing loss.

Results of BERA

The brainstem produces auditory evoked potential signals recorded as waves with peaks and troughs. Wave I, Wave II, and so on are positive potentials recorded from the electrode at the vertex and are labeled as wave I, Wave II, and so on until wave VII. The reaction to a click stimulus presented for 1 to 10 milliseconds in normal-hearing adults is recorded. Potentials arising from the brain’s thalamus (10-80ms) and cortex (80-500ms) are assumed to be responsible for responses longer than ten milliseconds. Our hearing experts use the result of the BERA test to determine the intensity of hearing loss and provide patients with the right hearing aids. 

BERA in the pediatric age group

Hearing loss in childhood impedes children’s growth; however, early discovery of hearing loss in the pediatric age group allows for treatment and improves children’s speech and general development. BERA was used on high-risk youngsters in this study, and numerous risk factors were compared. All high-risk children should have their hearing tested with BERA as soon as possible to recognize and treat children with hearing loss. Because OAE has a high sensitivity, it can be utilized to screen high-risk children in centers with no experts accessible. Consanguineous marriage is the most common cause of hearing loss in children, followed by neonatal jaundice, low birth weight, and other factors.

Application of BERA

BERA is a versatile tool that can be used for various treatments such as screening, testing, and operative monitoring. Our hearing professionals use the BERA test to help patients choose and fit the appropriate hearing aid. Our hearing experts use the BERA test to screen newborns, babies, and other young children for hearing loss, diagnose any suspected demyelinated illnesses like multiple sclerosis and monitor the central and peripheral nervous systems during surgical procedures.