It is recommended to perform a daily check of your OAE equipment to ensure that it is in good working order, before testing on patients. As the probe and probe tip often come into contact with wax or other debris in the ear canal, a common fault affecting testing can be a blocked or partially obstructed probe tip. Running a probe integrity test and a real-ear check allows for any probe faults or system distortions that can masquerade as biological responses to be detected. A daily check ensures that you can be certain that the results obtained throughout the day are valid.
The probe integrity test ensures artifact responses (system distortions) are not being generated by the probe or hardware. The probe tip should be inspected for wax or debris prior to conducting the test. Testing should always be conducted in a quiet environment.
If the probe is functioning correctly, none of the frequency bands (TEOAE) or points (DPOAE) should have a checkmark, i.e., no artifacts/OAEs should be detected above the noise floor.
If an error message appears during testing or if one or more of the OAE bands or points has a checkmark (meaning detected), the probe integrity test has failed. This could indicate that:
Check and clean the probe tip and retry the test. If the probe test fails a second time, the probe should not be used to test on patients. Contact your local service technician for assistance.
This test can be done by placing the probe in one’s own ear and running a commonly used test protocol.
If OAE results do not match the tester’s expected OAE result, this could be an indication that:
If results from the real-ear test do not match the expected result after checking items 1 to 5 above, the probe should not be used to test on patients. Contact your local service technician for assistance