Reasons, Preparation & Procedure For Conducting a Acoustic Reflex Test

Submitted on March 27, 2012

Hearing test

An audiometric or hearing test can test a person's hearing ability. This test measures the ability of sound that can finally reach the brain. Sounds are finally vibrations of various frequencies as well as intensities. These frequencies are in the air swirling around us. Through hearing tests, doctors can ascertain how severe the hearing loss is, the loss and what the causes of the hearing loss are.

Reasons Why It is Conducted

The acoustic reflex testing for infants screens infants and small children for hearing problems that affect their ability to speak, understand language and learn.

  • It finds out if teens and children have hearing loss.
  • It is also a routine examination.
  • If adults have hearing problems, then this test can effectively screen them.
  • Some people are regularly exposed to loud noises and may experience hearing loss. Acoustic reflex decay test can ascertain this.
  • The test can find out the amount and extent of hearing loss.


You must discuss the following with your doctor

  • If you have recently heard any loud noise.
  • Have noticed that you cannot listen to normal conversations properly.
  • If you have had a ear infection or a cold.
  • For acoustic reflex latency test, you will have to remove hair clips, earrings and eyeglasses. You may have to remove your hearing aid for a few tests.


Hearing tests are conducted in an audiometry laboratory. The tests are done by an audiologist.

Types of Hearing or Acoustic Reflex Tests

  • Whispered speech test: You will be asked to cover one of your ears and the audiologist will whisper some words from a distance of a feet or two away. You will be asked to repeat the words. If you haven't heard them, he will keep repeating them in a louder voice, until your hear the words.
  • Pure tone audiometry: This test uses an audiometer that plays a series of tones that the person can hear through headphones. The frequency and loudness varies.
  • Tuning fork tests: This device is a two-pronged device that emanates a tone while vibrating. The health professional will strike the fork for it to vibrate and emanate a tone. Through this test, one can determine how the sound moves through your ear.
  • Word recognition and speech reception: Through this test the health care professional will find out how well a person can understand normal conversation.
  • Otoacoustic emissions (OAE) testing: This test is used for screening newborn babies with hearing problems.
  • Auditory brain stem response (ABR) testing: Through this test, one can determine the sensorineural hearing loss.