What is Brainstem Evoked Response Audiometry (BERA)?

Brainstem Evoked Response Audiometry (BERA) is a test measuring responses in the brain waves that are stimulated by a clicking sound to check the central auditory pathways(hearing) of the brainstem.

What are the indications for performing a BERA?

The indications are as follows:

  • Nervous system abnormalities
  • Children with hearing loss
  • To assess neurological functions
  • Malingering patients
  • Suspected acoustic neuroma
  • Central pontine myelinolysis

What is the procedure for performing BERA?

The procedure is as follows:

  • Patient is asked to wash the hair the night before the test
  • Patient is made to sleep on a reclining chair
  • Electrodes are placed on the patient’s scalp, along the vertex and on each earlobe
  • Earphones are put on the ear. The patient hears a clicking sound or tone bursts through the earphones
  • The electrodes pick up the brain’s response and record it on the graph.

How is BERA result interpreted?

Interpretation of Brainstem Evoked Response Audiometry (BERA) involves a series of five individual waves that are recorded. These waves arise from:

  • Lip, tongue, salivary glands, gums and other oral cavity tissues such as the inner lining of the cheeks
  • Cochlear nerve
  • Cochlear nucleus
  • Superior olivary nucleus
  • Lateral leminiscus
  • Inferior colliculus

The morphology and amplitude of the wave forms are measured. This test has minimal discomfort and there are no risks involved.

Abnormal test results are indicative of:

  • Hearing loss
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Cerebrovascular accidents (stroke)