As part of the national Newborn Hearing Screening Programme babies in the Hull & East Riding area are routinely offered a hearing screen soon after birth either whilst in hospital or in a local community clinic. This is because 1-2 babies in every 1000 are born with a hearing loss in one or both ears. If a hearing problem is detected early, important information and support can be given to the baby and their family to ensure there are no delays in their speech and language development, which in turn may affect development of their education and social skills.
A dedicated team of trained hearing screeners carry out the screens at the bedside in hospital, or in a quiet clinic room whilst the baby is settled or asleep. There are two objective hearing screening tests that may be used called otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) and automated auditory brainstem response (AABR). The screening tests are quick and simple and do not hurt the baby. The results of the hearing screen are explained to parents at the time of the screening test.
If clear responses cannot be recorded from one or both of the baby’s ears, they are referred to the audiology clinic at the Childrens Centre for further hearing assessment. They will normally be seen within 4 weeks of receiving the referral.