What Is a Brain-stem Evoked Response Audiometry (BERA) Test?

A BERA test is a safe and painless test to see how the hearing nerves and brain respond to sounds. It gives information about possible hearing loss.

This test is important because hearing loss can be treated most effectively if it is caught early. So in younger children BERA may help in diagnosing hearing loss early.

Why is BERA Done?

  • A baby fails a newborn hearing screening such as OAE.
  • In young children who are not co-operative for other hearing tests
  • In children with neurological problems
  • BERA may be done in babies who have:
    • Parental concern about hearing levels in their child
    • Family history of hearing loss
    • Pre and post natal infections
    • Low birth weight or prematurity
    • severe jaundice at birth
    • Cranio- facial deformities
    • Head injury
    • Persistent otitis media
    • Exposure to ototoxic drugs

Preparation for BERA test

Children generally need to be relaxed and co-operative for BERA test.

  • Younger and unco-operative children may need medication to help them sleep. If so, your doctor will give instructions about food and medication.
  • You can also keep the child awake before so thay they fall asleep during the test.


What happens during the test?

  • An audiologist or a technologist places small earphones or headphones in the child’s ears and soft electrodes (small sensor stickers) near the ears and on the forehead.
  • Clicking sounds and tones go through the earphones, and electrodes measure how the hearing nerves and brain respond to the sounds.
  • You can stay with the child during the test
  • The test usually takes about an hour, or more in some children. If a sleeping baby wakes up during the test, the test will take longer because the baby will need to fall back asleep again to finish the test.

What Happens After the test?

The audiologist will let you know how the test went.Most sedation wears off within 1–2 hours.Our doctor will discuss the test results with you

Are There Any side effects from BERA?

The test is safe, does not hurt, and does not have any side effects. If your child needs sedation, your doctor will discuss the effects with you.