Thursday, 1 September 2016

The Newborn Hearing Screening Test

In British Columbia, we have a newborn hearing screening test that occurs either in the hospital (usually within a day or two after birth) or at an audiology clinic (for us in Victoria, this is usually within a Public Health Unit). We've done the screening test twice. On the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) website, it states that hearing screening occurs for over 97% of all babies born in BC. I thought it would be cool to write about the Newborn Hearing Screening test - especially since it means early intervention for hearing loss has improved significantly in the last decade. It is so easy for hearing loss to go by unnoticed! 

That being said, I'm very fortunate that my parents found out about my hearing loss a month after I was born due to the nature of my birth (rubella in pregnancy).

Two months ago, our second daughter had her newborn hearing screening test (Rachel's was done in the middle of the night!). It was such a cool experience for Curtis, as this was the first time he had ever seen the screening test. Perfectly painless, while Sarah was half asleep, she had the Automated Otoacoustic Emission (AOAE) test - the first of hearing screening tests available for newborns. According to PHSA, it is

A soft earphone that is placed into your baby's ear that plays quiet sounds. When the ear hears the sounds, the organ of hearing, known as the cochlea, makes a response that is detected by a sensitive microphone in the earphone. This response is called an otoacoustic emission. AOAE screening takes only a couple of minutes if your baby is quiet or sleeping.

Sarah getting her hearing tested at 2 days old!
Even though Sarah passed her test, they have requested for her to go for additional testing when she is about 8 months old just to be sure - given that mommy and daddy both have a hearing loss. 

Rachel's hearing test 'Pass'
That's my PSA for this week! 

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