Chris Evert Children's Hospital
Infant Hearing Screening

Infant Hearing Screening

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Take the Hearing Quiz

Hearing loss can occur for many reasons. Sometimes it occurs as people age. Sometimes it occurs after a long exposure to loud sounds. Learn more about hearing and hearing loss by taking this quiz.

1. After years of exposure to a humming refrigerator, people can develop hearing loss.
2. A sudden loud sound such as an explosion can damage the ear, as can long-term exposure to high levels of sound.
3. If a sudden loud noise only temporarily damages the ear, hearing will return in about 8 hours.
4. More than 30 million Americans are exposed to hazardous sound levels on a regular basis. Most of these noisy environments occur at the work site.
5. The best way to prevent noise-induced hearing loss is to wear special earplugs or earmuffs.
6. Children don't need to be as careful of loud noises as adults.
7. For people who develop noise-induced hearing loss, medication is available to reverse the damage.
8. It's often difficult for a person exposed to long-term high noise levels to realize that a hearing loss has occurred.

Child Ear Screening Hearing loss is the most common birth defect among newborns, occurring in three out of 1,000 babies. At Chris Evert Children’s Hospital, we believe that every baby should be screened for hearing loss shortly after birth. Audiologists and specially trained screeners are available seven days a week to perform hearing exams. The standard of care far exceeds State of Florida mandates, so we deliver the highest quality hearing services for babies and their families.

The Infant Hearing Screening is performed in the room while the mother watches. This technique is imperative in building a relationship between the parent of the baby and the audiologist. Using the Automated Brainstem Response (ABR) screening technology, the screener can determine a pass/fail response for each ear. Tiny headphones are placed on the baby’s head, while sensors are attached to the neck and forehead. A soft click or tone plays in each ear and the sensors will retrieve the response according to brainwaves. The test only takes about fifteen minutes and is so gentle that in most cases the baby sleeps through it.

If a baby does not pass the first hearing screen, a second test will be conducted. Upon the failure of the second test, an audiologist will perform a more complex exam called SoundGene™. SoundGene™ is now available to identify some of the most common types of hearing loss in infants. Approximately 50% of all hearing loss cases are related to genetic factors. With just a tiny prick from the baby’s heel and a few drops of blood, DNA-based testing is performed.  If hearing loss is detected, the audiologist may suggest a hearing aid.

When left untreated, hearing loss can affect a child’s social, emotional and academic development. Early detection, therefore, is critical. The quicker a hearing loss problem is diagnosed, the sooner your baby can receive the necessary treatment. Hearing health is crucial in motor skills and speech development. Babies build communication skills from the moment of their birth. Because babies learn to speak by listening, early screening will give them a fair chance to adapt to their impairment and develop healthy motor skills.

Educational literature about hearing loss is provided in English, Spanish, Creole, Russian, Chinese, Arabic, French and Vietnamese to guarantee the correct information is being communicated. Brochures highlight the milestones for required hearing tests, so they can be educated on the typical expectations for their child’s hearing development.