Newborns can have their hearing tested with specialized equipment. Learn more here
if you suspect your newborn has hearing problems or if your newborn failed the hearing
screening following birth.
Your baby may have been sent here for additional hearing testing after leaving the hospital or may not have been given a hearing test at all. As part of this appointment, your baby may receive up to three tests. None of these tests involve any pain for the child and are done while they sleep comfortably.
AUDITORY BRAINSTEM RESPONSE (ABR)
This test is best done with a sleeping child and typically requires 1 to 2½ hours. The test consists of your baby wearing earphones and hearing sounds. Stickers (electrodes) are put on the child’s ears and forehead. These electrodes record what is being heard by the baby’s ear and brain. Sounds will be done at different loudness levels to tell us your child’s hearing ability. This can tell us if your child may need additional help to hear the world around and to allow for speech and language development.
This test is used to measure how your child’s eardrum is moving and how their middle ear is working. This tells clinicians if there may be some fluid or pressure that would mean they need to see the pediatrician or possibly an ear doctor. During the test, clinicians place a device like an earbud in your child’s ears. This device changes the air pressure in the ear to give them this information.
This test tells us how well a very specific part of your child’s hearing organ is functioning. Clinicians place a small microphone (again, like an earbud) in your child’s ears. They then play soft, musical sounds. When sound reaches the healthy ear, there are tiny hair cells in your ear that will make an echo response that can be measured. An absent response may indicate either a problem in the middle ear or hearing loss. A present response will show normal or near-normal hearing.