A newborn hearing screening is an important step in your baby’s health. If it appears there is an issue, it’s always better to know than to guess at what it could be. If there is a chance there is a hearing problem, early detection and intervention is key to your child’s development.
One of the ways children learn is through hearing. If there are problems, without intervention, there may be speech or language development issues. The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) recommends all babies get a hearing screening, even before they go home from the hospital.
What to Expect at a Hearing Screening
There are two hearing screening methods used on infants.
- AABR (Automated Auditory Brainstem Response)
This measures how the nerve responsible for hearing responds to sound. The baby hears clicks or tones through earphones and three electrodes on their head measure their response.
- OAE (Otoacoustic Emissions)
This measures sound waves produced in the inner ear. A probe is placed in the ear canal and measures the echo when the clicks and tones are played.
Either of these tests can be performed individually, or you get can get them both done. They may even be conducted while the baby is sleeping. They are painless and usually last only a few minutes. If an issue is detected through a hearing screening, other tests can be performed by an audiologist to find out the degree of hearing loss and start working on solutions.
If your baby does have a hearing loss and it’s detected through a hearing screening, there are a lot of options. The Individual with Disability Education Act (IDEA) requires that free early intervention programs be offered. It’s reported children who begin a program before the age of 6 months usually develop language and communication skills at the same pace as their peers with no hearing loss.
Looking for Answers
It might seem like a daunting task to get a hearing screening and process the results, but you don’t have to do it alone. The professionals at Internal Medicine Diagnostic Centre are trained and experienced in offering the best resources available. Visit us at 18550 N. 6th Street in Magnolia, Texas, or give us a call at 281-252-8600. Having the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re getting the best diagnostic care for your baby at a hearing screening is invaluable. We can get you on track with intervention programs, if necessary, to help with your baby’s development.