Almost 50 million Americans suffer from hearing loss to some degree. Another 25 million people suffer from nervous system disorders.
If you suspect either you or a loved one might have hearing loss or a nervous system disorder, you may want to consider seeing a neurologist in Nevada to get tested.
A great neurologist can conduct what’s called a brainstem auditory evoked response test, which is better known as a BAER test. It may also be referred to as brainstem auditory evoked potentials, or BAEP, test, and auditory brainstem response, or ABR, test.
So, what is a BAER/BAEP/ABR test? How is it performed? And what do the results of this test show?
Keep reading to find out everything you should know about a BAER test prior to having one performed.
What Is a BAER Test?
A brainstem auditory evoked response test might sound like it’d be a very complicated test, but in reality, it’s a fairly straightforward type of test that a good neurologist in Las Vegas or other areas of Nevada can perform.
A BAER test is designed to test how your brain reacts to sounds. It requires a neurologist to play a series of clicks or other audio tones to see your brain responds.
A BAER test can be used to diagnose hearing loss or to indicate that people may have nervous system disorders that require further testing. BAER tests can be given to individuals of all ages. Often these tests are administered to infants and younger children quite a bit since they aren’t always able to take part in regular hearing tests. In some instances, dogs are subjected to BAER tests, as it’s the only surefire way to diagnose hearing loss in a dog.
What Can You Expect From a BAER Test?
As we alluded to, BAER tests are very straightforward compared to some other neurological tests. Additionally, BAER tests require minimal preparation and are typically completed within a short timeframe.
The various steps to a BAER test consist of the following:
- The patient begins by lying down in a reclined chair or bed
- The neurologist will place tiny electrodes on the patient’s scalp and ears
- The patient will be instructed to equip a pair of headphones
- The neurologist will play a series of clicks or audio tones through the headphones
- The electrodes on the patient’s scalp and ears will monitor how the brain responds to the clicks or audio tones
Unlike other hearing tests that might call for you to raise a hand when you hear a sound, you can sit back and relax while the electrodes do all the work.
What Do the Results of a BAER Test Mean?
Following a BAER test, generally, the neurologist will print out your test results and review them with you, showcasing how your brain responded to the various clicks and audio tones.
If your hearing is good, your brain will show signs of activity when a click or audio tone goes through the headphones. If your hearing is poor, your brain will show minimal to no signs of activity when a click or audio tone traveled through the headphones.
Any abnormal results after a BAER test could also suggest that you might be suffering from a nervous system disorder. Here are a few of the most common nervous system disorders that can be diagnosed through a BAER test:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Acoustic neuroma
- Central pontine myelinolysis
A lack of brain activity during a BAER test could also show that you may have suffered a stroke or a brain injury recently. It might indicate you could have a brain tumor as well.
What Happens After a BAER Test?
If you pass a BAER test with no issues, generally, you do not need to concern yourself with additional tests and can be confident your hearing and nervous system are in a healthy state.
However, if a neurologist sees anything out of the ordinary while evaluating your BAER test results, it may result in additional steps needed, such as additional various testing.
Where Can You Have a BAER Test Performed?
Has your primary doctor recommended you have a BAER test conducted? Do you believe you may benefit from undergoing a BAER test?
It is important to ensure that only a licensed and credible neurologist conducts and reviews BAER test results with you.
Neurocare of Nevada’s Dr. Chopra is a triple board-certified neurologist in brain injury medicine, neurophysiology, and neurology and has been treating patients in the Las Vegas Valley area for over 25 years.
Contact Us to Schedule a BAER Test
A BAER test is an effective way of diagnosing potential hearing loss or nervous system disorders. If you want to diagnose hearing loss or nervous system disorders, it’s best to turn to the qualified professionals at Neurocare of Nevada for help.
We provide quality care focused on the latest technology and treatment options. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.