General Things On New Born Hearing Screening

It is a standard testing which is provided in hospitals for newborn across the world. The fundamental purpose of newborn hearing screening is to determine newborns who are likely to have hearing loss and who require further diagnostic evaluation. The objective is to rule out newborns with medical conditions that can cause late-onset hearing loss and to further establish a plan for continued monitoring of their hearing status Oto-acoustic emissions (OAEs) are appropriate physiologic measures for screening the newborn population. Joint committee on Infant Hearing Screening (JCIH) in 1970 was formed to find out the status of infant hearing programs. At that time the JCIH included a high risk register, which contained the list of risk factors for hearing loss. Deafness needs to be diagnosed earlier as its adverse effects increase with the degree of hearing loss and age of onset of the problem. The high risk register helps to provide forewarning to the professional and to suspect the presence of this hidden handicap. These Screening programs targets permanent childhood hearing loss irrespective of the type of hearing loss Passing a screening test doesn’t mean that a child has normal hearing across all the frequency range. Because minimal and frequency-specific hearing losses are not found out by newborn hearing screening programs, newborns with these losses may pass a hearing screening. Monitoring of hearing, speech, and language milestones throughout childhood is essential. Because hearing plays a major role in speech and language development of the children.
Timing of Screening:-
Newborns without risk factors are screened as close to hospital discharge or prior to one month of age. NICU newborns are screened when they are ready for discharge or when they are medically stable. Newborns who have initially passed a hearing screening are rescreened if readmitted to the hospital in the first month of life or if risk factors for hearing loss develop during the infant’s hospital stay following the initial screening. A newborn should pass the screening in both ears during one session for the screening to be considered a “pass.” Otherwise, the newborn will be referred for rescreening. If the newborn does not pass in one ear, both ears must be rescreened. If the newborn passes the screening or the rescreening and has no risk factors for late-onset or progressive hearing loss, then the screening is complete. If the newborn passes the screening or the rescreening and has risk factors for late-onset or progressive hearing loss, then it will be very important to monitor the newborn’s hearing during early childhood.
Screening protocols are classified into four different categories: • ABR only • OAEs only • Two-tier (OAEs with immediate ABR rescreening if OAE is not passed) • Two-technology (ABR and OAEs) The choice of selecting protocol for a newborn hearing screening program is based on the specific needs of the population (i.e., well-baby nursery or NICU) and requirements of the state or hospital program Providing adequate counseling and education is an important part of the newborn hearing screening programs.