Learn About Newborn Hearing Screening:
Hearing screening checks for hearing loss. Identifying hearing loss early helps babies stay on track with their speech, language and communication skills as they grow. Screenings are done before you take your baby home from the hospital. If your baby is not born in a hospital, the tests are done between 24-48 hours after your baby’s birth.
There are two ways to screen your baby’s hearing. Both are safe and are usually done when your baby is asleep. The first test measures a tiny sound the ear makes when the baby is hearing properly; this test is called an Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) test. The second test measures the baby’s nerve response to sound. This is called an Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) test.
- Ask your baby’s medical provider or hospital of birth to provide you with their hearing results.
- If your baby did not pass the hearing screen or you have any questions about their hearing, contact your baby’s medical provider or a hearing provider right away to schedule a follow-up appointment. Check for a hearing provider near you:
- Even if your baby passes the newborn hearing screen, their hearing can change. A baby can develop a hearing loss after birth because of middle ear infections or fluid in the middle ear. There are a number of risk indicators that may lead to a hearing loss in your baby. Family history or illness such as meningitis can also affect hearing. Your baby may need to have their hearing tested on a regular basis to monitor any changes in hearing levels. Please contact your baby's medical provider to determine if further testing is needed.
For more information:
- Call: 855-202-1357
- Email: NBS.Health@tn.gov