Even though the audiometry lets you know about the status of your hearing, it is limited in giving any information as to why the problem has occurred or where the problem has occurred within your hearing system. In such cases, to precisely pinpoint the reason for your hearing loss, especially if the cause is neurological in nature, a neuro-audiological diagnostic workup is really helpful. It includes mainly Oto Acoustic Emission testing (OAE) and Auditory Brainstem Response testing (ABR).
OAE testing assesses the functioning of the tiny little structures within the innermost part of your ear called hair cells. These hair cells are responsible for conversion of the mechanical sound energy into electrical impulses which are carried by the hearing nerves to the brain that gives you a sense of hearing. The test is of approximately five minutes and is completely automated. The end result will let you know if the hair cells are functioning properly or not.
ABR testing is a detailed workup of your hearing nerve. This test is automated as well and does not require any response from your side. Ideally the patient should be well rested or sleeping for a smooth testing. The test gives Audiologists an idea about the functioning of the hearing nerve and will help to approximate the lowest level which the patient can hear without his/her cooperation. Because of its ease of use, the test is widely used to estimate the hearing level of infants and children.