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Auditory Steady-State Response (ASSR) – What You Need To Know

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You may have heard of Auditory Steady-State Response (ASSR) as a method for diagnosis and evaluation if you have hearing loss or related hearing issues. But what is ASSR for individuals with hearing loss? How will this help audiologists find how much hearing loss you have?

What is ASSR?

Auditory Steady-State Response, known as ASSR. It is an electrophysiological test measured using rapid frequency-specific stimuli to obtain a hearing threshold estimation. It is similar to Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR), in which both are auditory evoked potentials. 

We will discuss the differences between ASSR and ABR in the section below.

How does it help hearing care professionals with daily diagnosis and cochlear implant evaluations?

Like ABR, it could estimate the hearing threshold of an individual who could not provide reliable subjective responses from other hearing assessments such as Pure Tone Audiometry.

More frequency-specific hearing threshold estimation could be obtained from ASSR than ABR because the frequency-modulated tones are used for ASSR rather than using clicks or tone burst sounds. In patients where the thresholds for ABR were not measurable, it could be found in ASSR tests (Kandogan & Dalgic 2013) because the stimulus used to record an ASSR is a continuous signal, it is possible to deliver higher average sound pressure levels (SPL) compared with ABR.

Thus, it helps to differentiate those individuals whose hearing levels are within a severe to profound range. The ability to detect hearing loss at the more profound level is essential because the recommendation and intervention for this hearing level range will differ from a less severe hearing level. The cochlear implant will also be considered if a person is diagnosed with hearing loss at around 95dB HL, other than hearing aid fitting.

How different is it from Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR)

Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) focuses on the time domain, which looks at the Response’s amplitude and latency, while ASSR looks at amplitude and phases in the frequency domain.

Another difference is ABR only allows testing of one ear with one type of stimulus (e.g., click or tone burst) at a time, while ASSR allows binaural testing with four frequencies at a time (A total of eight frequencies for both ears). Hence the testing time required for ASSR is shorter if compared to ABR. ASSR uses an objective and statistical-based mathematical detection algorithm to determine the hearing threshold responses and will produce an estimated audiogram. ABR recordings are highly dependent on professionals subjectively evaluating the responses and giving a diagnosis from the results.

Where to go for the ASSR test in Singapore

Professionals in the hearing care field can diagnose and assess hearing loss with the help of ASSR. This non-invasive test is a great substitute for the ABR and can yield reliable results for those who cannot take lengthy testing sessions. You can come to The Listening Lab’s Hearing & Implant Centre, hospital or clinics equipped with this instrument. You may visit us at our Lucky Plaza or Suntec branch for hearing consultation and cochlear implants advice. Our services will let you feel the power of sound. Book your consultation now and discover how our advanced technology can help you hear better and live life to the fullest. 

Find out if a cochlear implant is right for you.