Otoacoustic Emission


Otoacoustic emissions are sounds produced in the inner ear in response to external noise. A recording of these sounds can be used to determine hearing functionality. In a normally functioning ear, the ear emits sounds in response to low decibel external noise.

What is it?

In a normally functioning ear, the cochlea (inner ear) receives sound and emits sound in response to external noise. The emissions of these sounds are known as otoacoustic emissions. These low decibel sounds are practically inaudible but can be recorded through the use of a small microphone that has been placed within the ear canal.

What should I do to prepare?

Before the otoacoustic emission test, one should ensure that the ear is unobstructed. The test must be performed in a quiet environment, so one must prepare his or herself for the quiet environment of the test.

What happens during the process?

In this noninvasive evaluation, a probe is introduced into the ear canal. This probe generates sound and also has a microphone to record any otoacoustic emissions produced by the inner ear. Sounds varying in intensity are played in the ear, and the inner ear response is recorded. These recordings are then analyzed using computer software to determine when an individual’s inner ear no longer produces an otoacoustic emission. In normally function ears, an emission will be produced by the inner ear when low-intensity sounds are generated.

What are the risks and potential complications?

There are no risks or complications associated with this noninvasive evaluation.


All GlobeHealer Site content, including graphics, images, logos, and text, among other materials on the site are for educational purposes only. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, and you should always contact your physician or qualified health provider for information regarding your health. Information on this site regarding the overview, diagnosis, and treatment of any kind should be looked at, in addition to the advice and information of your health care professional. Do not disregard medical advice or delay seeking treatment or medical advice due to information found on the GlobeHealer site. If there is even the possibility that you may have a medical emergency, seek treatment, call your doctor, or call your local emergency telephone number immediately. GlobeHealer does not endorse being the first line of communication in case of emergency and does not endorse any specific test, physician, facility, product, procedure, opinion, or other information that is or may be mentioned on this site or affiliated entities. Reliance of any and all information provided by GlobeHealer, its employees, affiliations, others appearing on the Site under the invitation of GlobeHealer, or visitors of the site is solely at your own risk and is not the responsibility of GlobeHealer.