Visual Reinforcement Audiometry

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If your doctor suspects that your child suffers from hearing loss, Visual Reinforcement Audiometry (VRA) might be used as an evaluation tool.

  • This behavioral audiometric test takes place in a sound-treated room. Your child will sit on your lap or in a chair between two calibrated loudspeakers or using earphones.
  • When a sound such as a tone at a specific frequency, speech, or music is presented, your child's eye-shift or head-turn response toward the sound source is rewarded by activation of a lighted mechanical toy mounted near the loudspeaker.
  • Your child's attention is then distracted back to the midline so that additional sounds can be presented.

Any test performed through loudspeakers rather than earphones is called "sound field" audiometry and does not test each ear separately; rather, sound field audiometry yields an audiogram for the better-hearing ear if there happens to be an ear difference in hearing.

However, if your child tolerates wearing earphones, then the test assesses hearing in each ear separately. This test is ideal for children between the ages of 7 months and 2 ½ years.

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Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944