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Newborn Baby Hearing Tests – Harford County Aegis, Ask a Doctor

It’s critically important to identify and treat hearing loss as early as possible for speech and language development. Unfortunately, asking a baby to raise their hand when they hear a beep doesn’t work very well. One way we test babies is by measuring Auditory Brainstem Responses (ABR). Ultimately, we hear with our brain. The ear’s job is to convert vibrations to electricity that the brain can interpret. By measuring brainstem activity following rapid beeps, we can tell if the brain received the signal – indicating the ear did its job. A second way is to measure Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE). A healthy ear will actually produce its own tiny sounds in response to being stimulated, which can be picked up by sensitive microphones. If they exist, then we know the ear is healthy within the range tested. Of course, we use both of these tests with adults as well, depending on their symptoms. If you’re thinking it might be time to see an audiologist, you’re probably right. Give us a call.