What is Brainstem Evoked Response Audiometry (BERA)?
The Brainstem Evoked Response Audiometry (BERA) is an ideal test to interpret the communication of electrical waves from the VIIIth cranial nerve to the brainstem, in reply to capture the sounds given through the ear. The process is also called Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR), Brainstem Auditory Evoked Potential (BAEP), Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response (BAER) and Evoked Response Audiometry (ERA).
BERA test is mostly used to recognize any pathology in the vestibulocochlear nerve or the brainstem. The test is suggested for infants who are at a high risk for hearing loss and in whom conventional audiometry cannot be performed.
What are the Indications of Brainstem Evoked Response Audiometry Test?
I. BERA procedure is recommended:
To recognize the site of the hearing difficulty. The test discovers pathologies from the vestibulocochlear nerve up to the brainstem.
As a hearing screening test in hyperactive, mentally impaired or other children who would not able to answer to conventional audiometry.
Asymmetric hearing loss - hearing loss that is more in one ear than the other.
II. As a hearing screening for infants who are at high risk of hearing impairment like:
Family history of congenital hearing loss.
Hyperbilirubinemia or high bilirubin levels.
Deformities or malformations of the head and face.
Parental concerns about hearing levels in the child.
Applications of Brainstem Evoked Response Audiometry Test:
BERA is an effective tool that can be used for various screening, testing and surgical monitoring procedures:
Hearing aid selection and fitting in infants and children.
Development and surgical fitting of cochlear implants.
Evaluation of hearing loss due to retro-cochlear pathology (lesion beyond the cochlea), like acoustic neuroma or acoustic schwannoma.
Screening for hearing loss in newborns, infants and other young children.
Diagnosis of any suspected demyelinated disorders like multiple sclerosis.
Monitoring of central and peripheral nervous system during surgical procedures like treatment of facial palsy or Meniere’s disease.