Newborn Hearing Screening

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Newborn Hearing Screening

Before you take your infant home from the hospital, he or she must undergo a newborn
hearing screening. One of the earliest ways in which infants can learn is through listening
and hearing. Although the majority of neonates have normal hearing, 1 to 3 of every 1,000
children born in India have hearing levels outside the norm. Screening and diagnosis of
newborns ensures that all deaf or hard-of-hearing infants are promptly recognised. They can
then get early intervention therapies that can have a significant impact on their
communication and language development.

Necessary of newborn hearing screening

● The hearing screening is an essential first step in determining whether or not your
child is deaf or hard of hearing. Without neonatal hearing screening, it is difficult to
detect hearing changes in the infant’s early months and years of life.
● Babies may react to noise by, for example, startled or turning their heads toward the
sound. However, this does not necessarily imply that they can hear all sounds and all
we say.
● Deaf or hard-of-hearing infants may hear certain sounds, but not enough to
comprehend spoken language.
● Infants who are deaf or hard of hearing require the appropriate supports, care, and
early intervention services in order to develop normally.
● The lack of identification of a baby’s hearing level may have detrimental
repercussions on his or her communication and language skills.
● Long-term, an undiagnosed hearing loss might influence the child’s academic
performance and social-emotional growth.

Newborn Hearing Screening Methods

There are two screening options available:

Automated Auditory Brainstem Response (AABR)

This display measures how the auditory nerve and brain react to sound. Through delicate
earbuds, clicks or tones are played into the baby’s ears. Three electrodes implanted on the
infant’s head measure the reaction of the auditory nerve and brain.

Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE)

This display measures the sound waves generated by the inner ear. A small probe is inserted
into the ear canal of the infant. It measures the response (echo) when tones or clicks are
played into the infant’s ears

What happens if my infant fails the initial hearing screening?

If your infant fails the newborn hearing screening, it does not necessarily indicate she is deaf
or hard of hearing. The presence of fluid or vernix in the baby’s ear, for instance, or excessive
noise in the room can impact the results. In truth, the majority of infants who fail the
newborn test have normal hearing. However, it is crucial to conduct further tests to ensure
About one or two out of every hundred newborns will not pass the initial hearing screening
and will need to be evaluated by an audiologist with experience working with infants. This
evaluation should involve a more comprehensive hearing and medical assessment.
Talk to your child’s paediatrician about scheduling additional testing if he or she fails the
initial hearing screening at birth. The further tests should be performed as soon as feasible,
but no later than three months after birth.
Initial follow-up testing may consist of a comparable screening to that performed in the
hospital. In lieu of re-screening, some hospitals and clinics may perform a diagnostic test at
the time of follow-up. In young newborns, follow-up testing may be performed while the
infant is napping.

If my infant is determined to be deaf or hard of hearing, what treatment and intervention options are available?

If your baby’s audiologist confirms hearing changes, a team of professionals should
immediately begin therapy and early intervention. Children who are deaf or hard of hearing
can achieve just as much as their hearing peers. Studies indicate that your child will have an
equal chance of developing spoken language as his or her hearing peers if any hearing issues
are identified by six months of age and assistance and intervention are initiated. the sooner
the better,
Deaf or hard-of-hearing infants should also consult a paediatric otolaryngologist, who
specialises in the mechanics of the ear, in addition to their pediatrician and audiologist. Your
paediatrician should also recommend that you see a paediatric ophthalmologist, as some
children can also have vision impairments and deaf or hard of hearing youngsters rely on
their eyes for language input. Many children are also evaluated by a geneticist to see
whether hearing changes are inherited.
Your state’s Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) program can offer you and
your pediatrician more resources. Evaluation and services for infants who are deaf or hard of
hearing should be referred to Early Intervention. In addition, the Individuals with
Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) supports intervention programs for deaf and
hard-of-hearing children within early intervention and school-based programming

If my infant passes the newborn hearing screening, does this mean that he or she will never have hearing loss?

Regrettably, no. Some infants may acquire hearing impairment in later life. Late-onset or
progressive hearing loss in children may be caused by heredity, numerous ear infections,
other illnesses such as measles or meningitis, a head injury, exposure to damagingly loud
noises, or passive smoking. Babies who require extensive neonatal critical care may also be
at increased risk for hearing loss in the future.
Together, the audiologist and otolaryngologist can determine the nature and extent of
hearing loss, as well as the next measures. The next steps may differ based on your family’s
preferences, as well as the nature and severity of hearing loss.


Hearing loss is sometimes gradual and difficult to detect. Routine tests can detect changes in
a child’s hearing at an early stage, when assistance and resources can have the greatest
impact on his or her development. Timing is crucial. The earlier a baby’s hearing changes are
detected, the more likely it is that therapies can help her attain her full potential.

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