Baby with Hearing Loss

Testing Process

How is newborn hearing screening done?

Automated Auditory Brainstem Response (AABR) – This test measures how the hearing nerve responds to sound. Clicks or tones are played through soft earphones into the baby's ears. The electrodes place on the baby's head measures the hearing nerve response.

Otoacoustic Emission (OAE) – This test measures sound waves produced in the inner ear. A tiny probe is placed just inside the baby's ear canal. It measures the response (echo) when the clicks or tones are played into the baby's ears.

Both tests are quick (5-10 minutes), painless and may be done while your baby is sleeping or lying still.

What if my baby Passes?

If your baby does not have risk factors for hearing loss and has passed the newborn screen test, then your baby's doctor will continue to assess your baby's hearing and speech/language development along with other milestones at each of your baby's regular visits.

What if my baby does NOT Pass the hearing screen?

If your baby does not pass the hearing screen at birth, it does not necessarily mean that your baby has hearing loss. But to be sure, it is extremely important to have further testing. This should include a more thorough hearing evaluation and a medical evaluation. These tests should be done as soon as possible, but definitely before your baby is 3 months old. These tests can confirm whether hearing is normal or not.

Hearing Rescreens

What if my baby did not receive a hearing screen as a newborn?

If your baby did not receive a hearing screen, call your baby's doctor and ask to have your baby screened. Hearing can be screened at any age. Talk with your baby's doctor if you have any concerns at any time about your baby's hearing or speech development.