Why is newborn hearing screening important?
- Hearing loss is invisible.
- 2–3 per 1,000 babies will have hearing loss at birth.
- Untreated hearing loss can cause speech and language delays.
- Early access to sound through hearing aids and other technology will help prevent speech and language delays.
Before leaving the hospital, your newborn baby’s hearing will be checked using a quick, simple test. Hospital hearing screens are important for finding hearing loss early. If you are not sure about the results of this screening, ask your doctor.
What happens if my baby doesn’t pass the hospital hearing screening?
Not all babies pass the hearing screening the first time. Your baby will be screened again before leaving the hospital. If your baby does not pass the hospital hearing screenings, an outpatient hearing re-screen appointment will be provided and performed before your baby is one-month old.
If your baby still does not pass the hearing re-screen, talk to your doctor about a referral to an audiologist for further testing.
Guam Hearing Doctors can test your baby!
It is very important to follow up with the diagnostic hearing test. The diagnostic hearing test is safe for your baby. Tiny earphones are placed in your baby’s ears, and the test measures your child’s response to sound while he or she sleeps.
Diagnostic hearing testing will tell you:
- if your baby has hearing loss;
- how much hearing loss there is;
- what to do next.
Children with hearing loss that is not treated:
- have difficulty learning to listen and speak;
- have trouble learning to read;
- have difficulty in school.
Newborn hearing screening can only tell you if your baby’s hearing is okay at birth.
Some babies develop hearing loss later. So, it is important to pay attention to how well your child reacts to sounds. Also, keep track of his or her speech and language development.
Ask your doctor to order a diagnostic hearing test if you have any concerns regarding hearing or speech and language development. Guam Hearing Doctors has the technology, equipment and experience to work with newborn babies and children.
Resource: asha.org, Audiology Information Series