Does My Baby Hear Me?
Baby Hear Screening Test.
In our country, some health screenings are routinely performed for newborn babies to develop healthy individuals and to detect diseases early. For example, the purpose of the vaccines made within the scope of the routine vaccination program makes each individual more protected against some diseases. A baby hearing screening test is a routine screening just like in the example, and it should be done in the first weeks of life for every newborn baby.
Why is the hearing screening test important? In the studies conducted, congenital hearing loss is detected in an average of 3 out of every 1000 babies born. As in all stages of life, hearing is very important, especially in infancy and developmental ages, in terms of learning and developing speaking skills with audio stimuli. For example, language development develops in correlation with visual and auditory stimuli. The speaking skills of a baby with insufficient hearing function remain inadequate. For these reasons, hearing loss that cannot be detected within the first 6 months will cause a delay in making the necessary interventions. For this reason, the hearing screening test is of great importance in terms of detecting hearing loss in the early period.
A hearing test is an effective method performed with extremely simple methods.
Auto Acoustic Emission (OAE) and ABR tests are performed for Baby Hear Test. To get correct results during the hearing test, the baby must be immobile and the environment must be quiet. Hearing tests do not cause pain. Performing it under natural sleep will be effective in providing faster and more reliable results.
Auto Acoustic Emission (OAE):
It is performed using a probe that resembles a headset that places it in the outer ear canal. Blockages in the external auditory canal may cause incorrect measurements. For this reason, it is recommended that you do not wash your baby 2 days before the test. Approximately 30 – 40% of babies may fail the tests even if they do not have hearing loss. Among the reasons for this:
- The outer ear canal is narrow,
- Failure to maintain inactivity or sleepiness in the baby,
- Placement of the appropriate probe on the plane,
- Causes such as obstructions in the ear canal (presence of fluid in the middle ear canal).
Failure of the test does not necessarily indicate hearing loss. If necessary, the test should be repeated after 1 week. If the test fails again, the test must be repeated with advanced methods to detect hearing loss.
ABR / BERA Screening Test:
Hearing screening test of babies who cannot pass the Auto Acoustic Emission test or babies who are in the risk group (babies at risk are listed below) even if they pass this test should be repeated with the ABR / BERA Screening Test. Unlike the Auto Acoustic Emission test, elastic small bands (electrodes) are placed on the forehead and back of the ears, earmuffs are attached to the ear canal and a special sound wave is sent, the test is completed by measuring the response of the auditory nerve to these sound waves.
Babies Who Can Be Considered at Risk for Hearing Loss:
- Babies born before 35 weeks.
- Babies born below 1500g.
- Babies hospitalized in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
- Babies treated with long-term breathing apparatus.
- Babies with a family history of hearing loss in childhood.
- Babies with head structure, Ear structure (such as prominent ear).
- Babies with structural disorders such as the cleft palate and cleft lip.
- Jaundice can be counted as babies whose value rises high enough to require transfusion.