Hearing Tests

How important is a hearing test for their development?

Hearing Tests for Newborns

Testing for possible hearing loss in newborns is particularly important.

Timely diagnosis of hearing loss in newborns allows for effective intervention which can help them develop normal or close-to-normal speech and a part of their sense of hearing.

  • Nearly 3 to 6 out of 1,000 newborns have significant hearing problems
  • More than 95% of deaf newborns have parents with normal hearing
  • Hearing loss is undetectable by a simple physical check of the newborn’s ears
  • Most newborns who have hearing loss show no symptoms

Hearing tests are short in duration (lasting about 10 minutes), safe and do not cause pain (most babies are able to sleep during the check). Sometimes newborns are checked twice rather than just once.

What if my newborn passes the hearing test successfully?

Some newborns may hear well enough to pass a hearing control even if their hearing is not entirely normal. Others may also pass the hearing test, but suffer hearing loss due to an illness, a medicine or genetic reasons – after leaving the maternity ward. Therefore, even if your newborn passes the hearing control, refer to an Audiologist or Pediatrician if you have an indication of potential hearing loss at any time.

What if my newborn does not pass the hearing test successfully?

If your newborn does not pass the hearing test, it is important to book an appointment with an Audiologist for a thorough check as soon as possible.

Other Signs

Your newborn may be at risk for a delayed manifestation of hearing loss for any of the following reasons:

  • There is a family history of childhood hearing loss
  • Neonatal intensive care takes place along with ECMO therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • An infection that occurred before or after birth (including CMV, bacterial infections or viral meningitis)
  • Disorders that affect the baby’s nervous system

If any of the above is true, book an appointment with the pediatrician or a pediatric-otolaryngologist to make the necessary diagnostic tests.

All newborns should be checked for potential hearing loss. Make sure your newborn’s hearing is checked before leaving the maternity ward.

What are the indications of healthy hearing in infants?

Communication Skills During Infancy

An infant with normal hearing should be able to do the following:

Around the age of 2 months

  • Be scared by loud sounds
  • Becalmed by familiar voices
  • Make exclamations such as “oh”

Around the age of 4 months

  • Try to locate the source of sounds
  • Begin to “chatter”
  • Begin screaming and chuckling

Around the age of 6 months

  • Turn the head towards loud sounds
  • Begin to mimic the sound of speech
  • Say words like “ma-ma”

Around the age of 9 months

  • Mimic the sound of other people’s speech
  • Understand “no” and “hi”
  • Turn the head towards soft sounds

Around the age of one

  • Use the words Mom or Dad correctly
  • Offer its toys when asked to do so
  • Respond to songs and music