Transient evoked otoacoustic emissions (TEOAEs) are low amplitude sound waves produced by the healthy cochlea. They can be recorded with a microphone in the external ear. TEOAEs are abolished by hearing losses of 30 dB or more. The feasibility of using TEOAEs as a screening test for hearing loss in children was studied. TEOAE recordings were attempted in 56 children attending an audiology clinic. Recordings were possible from both ears in 52 children; of these 104 ears, 32 had hearing deficits of 30 dB or more. Hearing status was compared with the results of six TEOAE screening criteria. All criteria had a sensitivity of 1.00. Four standard TEOAE criteria yielded specificities of 0.46-0.58. Two new criteria derived from analysis of limited frequencies from the TEOAE waveform gave specificities of 0.76 and 0.82. It can be concluded that, when appropriate pass/fail criteria are employed, TEOAEs are a feasible screening test in children.
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