Why Screen Newborns for Hearing Loss?
Early diagnosis of hearing loss in children allows for early access to effective intervention that can help a child achieve normal or nearly normal speech, language, and hearing milestones.
Did you know?
- Approximately 3-6 of every 1,000 newborns have significant hearing problems.
- More than 95 percent of newborns who are born deaf have parents with normal hearing.
- Hearing loss is invisible and cannot be seen by examining your baby’s ears.
- Most newborns with hearing loss show no obvious signs or symptoms.
What Should I Know About the Hearing Screening?
- Hearing screenings are fast, safe, and painless.
- Sometimes newborns need to be screened more than once.
- Hearing screenings take about 10 minutes.
- Most babies sleep through the hearing screening.
- You will receive the hearing screening results before you leave the hospital.
What If My Newborn Does Not Pass the Hearing Screening?
Some newborns who need a follow-up hearing screening or a hearing test will have normal hearing, BUT some will have permanent hearing loss.
If your baby does not pass the hearing screening, it is important to make an appointment with an Audiologist for a complete hearing test. Additional testing will provide a better picture about your child’s hearing and if Intervention is needed.
What If My Newborn Passes the Hearing Screening?
Infants who pass the screening are usually fine, but passing the newborn hearing screening does not insure your child will always have perfect hearing. Some babies hear well enough to pass a screening, yet their hearing is not perfectly normal. Some babies pass the screening, but then lose hearing from illness, medications, or genetic reasons as they get older.
Additional Risk Factors for Hearing Loss
Your child might be at risk for a delayed-onset hearing loss if any of the following applies:
- Family history of childhood hearing loss.
- Neonatal intensive care unit with ECMO therapy.
- Infections that occur before and after birth (including CMV, bacterial, and viral meningitis).
- Disorders that affect the baby’s nervous system.
If you or another caregiver have any concerns about your child’s hearing it is important that you schedule a complete hearing evaluation with an Audiologist.
ALL NEWBORNS SHOULD BE SCREENED FOR HEARING LOSS.
MAKE SURE YOUR BABY’S HEARING IS SCREENED BEFORE LEAVING THE HOSPITAL.