Neonatal Auditory Screening

Also known as: newborn hearing screening, optoacoustic emissions test (OAEs), auditory brainstem response test (ABR).

What is neonatal auditory screening?

A neonatal auditory screening is a test given to a newborn baby in order to test his or her hearing. It’s a standard test given to all babies after they are born and before they leave the hospital.

What happens during the procedure?

There are two types of neonatal auditory screenings:

  • The first is known as auditory brainstem response, and it involves placing soft earphones on the baby’s ears and measuring the hearing nerves’ responses to a series of soft clicks or tones.
  • The second is known as optoacoustic emissions, and it involves placing a tiny probe inside the baby’s ear in order to measure the echo when sounds are played through the probe.

Both tests can be done while the baby is sleeping or lying and take 5 to 10 minutes.

Is any special preparation needed?

No special preparation is needed for the tests.

What are the risk factors?

There are no risks related to these tests.


Reviewed by: Carla Colebrook-Thomas

This page was last updated on: December 04, 2019 12:07 PM

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The Rehabilitation Services at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital serve the therapeutic needs of infants, children and adolescents.

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