Newborn Hearing Screening Follow-Up

Newborn Hearing Screening Follow-Up

Some babies do not pass the hearing screening in the hospital.  In Ohio, it is the law that every infant must be re-tested after discharge from the hospital if the infant:

  • Does not pass the hospital screening in one or both ears
  • Has a risk factor for hearing loss such as family history, CMV or meningitis

An audiologist should perform the follow-up testing.

The Importance of Another Hearing Test

Infants who did not pass the hearing screening in the hospital should have another test within three to four weeks after leaving the hospital to re-check the infant for hearing loss. It is possible to detect hearing loss in the early days of life. Hearing loss is something that cannot be seen. A baby who has hearing loss may have trouble developing language and other skills. Early discovery of a hearing loss can greatly help the baby.

Preparing for the Test

Testing is quicker and easier if the baby is sleeping comfortably. To prepare for the test, do not allow your baby to nap right before the appointment. It is best to schedule the next feeding time so the baby can feed when arriving for the test. A blanket, extra diapers, change of clothes and extra formula are helpful for the baby’s comfort during the test.

During the Test

The evaluation may look similar to the screening(s) the baby had in the hospital. An auditory brainstem response (ABR) and or an otoacoustic emissions (OAE) test is done.

Sounds are played through tiny earphones placed in the baby’s ears.  The baby’s responses to the sounds are measured using electrodes placed on different parts of the baby’s head (ABR) and “echoes” that come back from the baby’s ear (OAE).

The baby does not feel any pain during either of these tests. Most of the testing takes place while the baby is asleep. The baby can rest in the parent’s arms during the test.  

After the Test

After the tests, the audiologist will talk about the test results and any necessary recommendations.

Last Updated 04/2019

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Ask a question, request an appointment, refer a patient or place an order for a procedure in the Division of Audiology at Cincinnati Children’s.