Hearing Tests Available for Newborn Infants and Young ChildrenBy Rosenthal, Paula; Hearing Exchange,
Publication Date: 2004
Article discusses different methods for testing newborn infants and young children for hearing loss. The Otoacoustic Emmissions (OAE) Test is used as a preliminary screening test. The procedure involves placing a small probe in the outer ear canal with the client sitting still and quietly. A computer analyses OAE, which are sounds produced by a normally functioning inner ear. The test does not require the child’s active participation, and usually takes roughly 15 minutes. The Auditory Brainstem Response, or the Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response consists of sounds that are presented to a child’s ears through earphones. Small electrodes are taped to the child’s head while a computer analyzes responses. The infant or child must be completely still and is often sedated for the test unless asleep. Testing usually takes less than one hour. The test is expensive and highly specialized, requiring an experienced professional. Behavioral hearing tests are used with children who are able to respond to sounds either by turning their head or by playing a game. The tests measure three important types of information: (1) the degree of hearing loss, (2) the source of the problem, and (3) how the hearing loss will affect the child’s ability to communicate. There are three types of behavioral tests: (1) threshold testing, which measures the quietest tones or speech that a child is unable to hear, (2) word recognition testing, which measures the child’s ability to understand speech at comfortable loudness levels, and (3) middle ear testing, which searches for the presence of fluid or other middle ear dysfunction. The results are displayed in a diagram called a tympanogram.
Link to text: http://www.hearingexchange.com/articles/paulas-0301a.htm