Wednesday, November 15, 2006

More Hearing Tests

Today we took Wade back to his EN&T specialist, Dr. Vickery. Since our last visit, Wade has been on a round of antibiotics to try to clear up the fluid that was in his ears. It must have worked because Dr. Vickery said he couldn't see any fluid.

They tested each ear three times. The last time that was done, the tests showed normal hearing at certain frequencies but not at others. This time they said the tests were all varied and showing different results with each test.

Dr. Vickery is going to send us back to University Hospital Hearing Center where they have the capability to perform a more advanced test called a "BERA".

Brainstem evoked response audiometry (BERA or ABR) involves sophisticated, computerized equipment. Sounds are placed in the ear, and the brainstem's response is recorded from electrodes (similar to electrocardiogram electrodes) that are taped to the patient's head. This testing is extremely helpful in:
Distinguishing sensory (inner ear) from neural (nerve) causes of hearing loss
Helping to localize problems in the brainstem auditory pathway
Determining the ability to hear soft sounds, in selected cases

To do this test, the baby has to be sleeping soundly. If the baby cannot be tested while asleep, then he must be sedated with oral medicine or in some cases even anesthesia. We will probably make an attempt at scheduling Wade's appointment at naptime, but we don't have much faith in his ability to sleep through the test. He doesn't like having objects inserted in his ears.

Wade has really started smiling at us this week, although I haven't been able to catch it with the camera yet.

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