OAE testing is commonly used as the primary hearing screen in newborns with no known hearing loss risk factors. Failure to show a strong OAE indicates that further testing or observation is necessary.
OAE testing is used as the initial screen within universal hearing screening progammes. Passing the OAE test indicates that normal middle ear and cochlear function is present. The specific risks must be evaluated to determine whether ABR (auditory brainstem response) testing is necessary, even after a pass at OAE. Certain clinical conditions indicate the possibility of retro-cochlear/neurological disorders which the OAE test cannot detect.