Newborn Hearing Test

A newborn hearing screening is a test done to make sure your baby does not have a problem hearing. The test is done by an audiologist, a person trained to identify and manage hearing problems. A newborn hearing test is usually done before a baby leaves the hospital after birth. If it is not done during the newborn period, it is usually done within the first month of life.

  • Call Your Doctor

    After the test, call your child’s doctor if you suspect that your child may have a hearing problem. Sometimes even if a baby has a normal hearing test, he may develop hearing problems as he gets older. Here are some signs of hearing problems to look for as your baby gets older:

    • 0-3 months—does not respond to loud noises or your voice
    • At 12 months—does not imitate sounds or speak simple words like “mama”

    • Toddler age—has difficulty with:

      • Speaking
      • Learning
      • Listening to sound from the television
      • Paying attention
      • Talking with others

  • Definition

    A newborn hearing screening is a test done to make sure your baby does not have a problem hearing. The test is done by an audiologist, a person trained to identify and manage hearing problems. A newborn hearing test is usually done before a baby leaves the hospital after birth. If it is not done during the newborn period, it is usually done within the first month of life.

    The Ear
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  • What to Expect

  • Reasons for Test

    The test is done to make sure that the baby does not have any hearing problems. Being able to hear well is important in a newborn’s life since a baby uses sound to assess his surroundings and to eventually learn how to speak.

    Having a hearing test lets you and your baby’s doctor find out early whether your child has hearing problems, and if so, address the problems to help your child communicate as he gets older.

  • Results

    The audiologist will let you know the results soon after the test is done. If your baby does not pass the test, the audiologist may test him again. Not passing does not mean that your baby definitely has hearing problems. There may have been fluid in his middle ear or wax in the ear canal that affected the hearing test. Also, crying and movement may affect test results.

    Not passing the test does mean that your child will need further testing. With further testing your doctor can figure out if there is a problem with your babies hearing. If your baby is diagnosed with hearing loss, then the doctor may refer your baby to specialists who can help. These specialists may include ear doctors and teachers who work with children with hearing loss.

  • Possible Complications

    There are no major complications associated with this test.