Universal Newborn Hearing Screening
What is Universal Newborn Hearing Screening?
Universal Newborn Hearing Screening is a statewide program that requires all babies to receive a hearing screening before they go home from the hospital. It began in June 2004. In Ohio, there are approximately 450 babies born with a hearing loss each year.
How is the Screening Done?
There are two quick, simple and safe ways to screen your baby's hearing. Babies often sleep while tested. The two screening methods are:
ABR: Auditory Brainstem Response—three patches are placed on the baby’s face, cheek and neck. Small headphones are placed over the baby’s ears and the baby hears soft sounds.
OAE: Otoacoustic Emissions—soft foam or rubber tips are placed inside the baby’s ears and the baby hears soft sounds.
What do the Results Mean?
Pass: Your baby passed the hearing screening (monitor speech and language milestones).
Pass with Risk Factor: Your baby passed but has risk factors (talk to the doctor as more testing may be needed; monitor speech and language milestones).
Non-pass: Your baby did not pass and needs more testing by an audiologist (hearning professional). This does not mean that there is hearing loss, but your baby needs follow-up testing within two or three weeks.
What if Your Baby Needs Follow-up Testing?
Talk to your baby's doctor about the screening results at the first check-up and schedule follow-up testing with an audiologist. For help finding a provider, you can use the list provided by the hospital or call the Ohio Department of Health at (614) 844-8939 for more information.
What if Your Baby has a Hearing Loss?
The doctor or audiologist will tell you about the loss and the Regional Infant Hearing Program (RIHP) in your area will contact you. The RIHP has experienced parent advisors to give information about hearing loss, communication options, resources and family support. The Help Me Grow - Birth to Three (Early Intervention) program will provide a service coordinator for your family.
UNHS Infant Hearing Website
This page last updated on 4/14/08.