Neonatal Hearing Screening: Essential for Hearing Health

11 June 2024

What is Neonatal Hearing Screening?

Neonatal hearing screening is a vital assessment conducted on newborns to detect any potential hearing deficiencies early. This test is usually performed before the baby is discharged from the hospital, often within 24-48 hours after birth. The goal is to identify infants who require a more comprehensive audiological evaluation and, if necessary, early intervention. This process involves non-invasive techniques that can detect hearing problems without causing discomfort to the baby.

International and National Implementation of Screening

Internationally, neonatal hearing screening gained significant momentum in the late 1990s, supported by organizations such as the European Consensus Development Conference on Neonatal Hearing Screening and the American Academy of Pediatrics. In Spain, this protocol was formally established in 2003, although it had been promoted by the Commission for the Early Detection of Child Hearing Loss (CODEPEH) since 1999. Each region has the autonomy to define the specific screening method, but otoacoustic emissions and/or automatic auditory evoked potentials are generally used.

Importance of Early Detection

Early detection is crucial as it allows timely intervention before potential hearing loss can affect the child’s language development and social skills. Acting quickly can prevent long-term challenges in learning and communication, thus significantly improving the quality of life for the child and their family.

Long-Term Follow-Up

Once the initial screening is done, if applicable, it is necessary to maintain ongoing follow-up as the child grows. This follow-up is essential to tailor interventions and/or treatments to the child’s changing needs, enabling healthcare professionals to effectively respond to any challenges that may arise during their auditory and linguistic development.

Integration of Technology in Follow-Up at Any Stage

As a management platform that seamlessly integrates into the workflow of audiologists and other health professionals, thus strengthening the care chain from initial diagnosis to treatment, Audyum not only facilitates efficient management of test results but also allows for the management of data from parents or legal guardians, offering the possibility to interact with the child’s record when signing key documents or making necessary payments for procedures.

Neonatal hearing screening offers a healthier future for new generations by ensuring that every baby has the best possible start in terms of their hearing health, laying the foundation for their comprehensive development. We invite audiology professionals to discover how our software can support this important work by visiting our contact page, where they can schedule a free demonstration.