Infant hearing screening will not hurt your baby, and will only take between 5 and 20 minutes. Ideally it is done whilst baby is asleep or settled.

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1 Early diagnosis of hearing loss will make a difference to your baby s life. Significant hearing loss is the most common condition present at birth. In the private sector, 3 in every 1000 babies are born with a significant hearing loss. Most of these babies are born into families with no history of hearing loss. Profound deafness and hearing impairment can have a huge impact on a child s language, communication and overall development. New born hearing screening helps to identify babies with a hearing loss very early in life so that any necessary treatment can begin before 6 months of age, the crucial period in a baby's life for speech and language development. Hillcrest Private Hospital in conjunction with Julie Cardona, Audiologist and Speech and Language Therapist is now able to offer our maternity patients the opportunity to have this testing done before going home after the birth of your baby.

2 The early identification of hearing loss, fitting of high quality hearing aids, cochlear implants and comprehensive early intervention services can: improve school performance improve communication skills and speech and language development better social skills improve emotional health decrease family stress improve quality of life. Infant hearing screening will not hurt your baby, and will only take between 5 and 20 minutes. Ideally it is done whilst baby is asleep or settled. The audiologist will check to see that the ear canal is unobstructed and tympanic membrane is intact. that the Your baby s hearing will be tested using three different methods high frequency tympanometry screening, auditory brainstem response (ABR) evaluations and otoacoustic emission (OAE) measures. These tests are accurate, non-invasive, automated, and do not require any observable response from the infant.

3 High Frequency Tympanometry A small soft-tipped earpiece is placed into the ear canal. A measurement is obtained giving information about the middle ear pressure and the mobility of the ear drum. Otoacoustic Emission (OAE) A small soft-tipped earpiece which makes a soft clicking sound is placed in your baby's ear. The ear will respond to the clicking sound by making its own soft sounds. This is because tiny hairs inside the ear move in response to the clicking sound. These soft sounds are picked up and processed by the OAE equipment giving an indication of how your baby's ears respond. Automated Auditory Brainstem Response (AABR) A small soft-tipped earpiece is placed in your baby's ear. Special sensors are placed on your baby's head and the response from your baby's hearing nerve is picked up by these sensors and processed by the ABR equipment. This screening test measures both whether the ear is responding to sounds, and whether the brain is responding to that sound. This process takes a little longer but will not cause your baby any pain or discomfort. If your baby does not get a good result on the first screening it may be necessary for a follow up screening after a few weeks. A poor screening result does not necessarily indicate hearing loss. Further testing will be necessary. Apart from actual hearing loss there are other factors that may contribute to poor screening result such as birth fluid in the ear canal, fluid in the middle ear cavity, or if your baby is was unsettled during the testing. If your baby gets a refer result during the screening in hospital (the screening indicates possible hearing loss), a follow up appointment will need to be made with an audiologist in a months time. At this appointment further diagnostic tests will be performed to confirm if there is a hearing loss.

4 If your baby is found to have a hearing loss, you will be referred to an appropriate specialist such as an ear nose and throat specialist or a paediatrician depending on your baby's hearing levels. This might also include support and education about hearing loss and helping your child to learn, information on devices such as hearing aids and cochlear implants, different ways of communicating, (such as sign language) and possible genetic counselling. The hearing screening is designed to pick up moderate to profound hearing losses. It may not pick up mild hearing losses. It is therefore important to have your child s hearing routinely tested every year. Complied by Julie Cardona & Associates Audiologist and Speech Language Therapists. Unit 3 Burnside Office Park, 1 Builders Way, Hillcrest Please contact us if you need further information about our infant hearing screening programme Kassier Road, Assagay Visit our maternity Facebook page hillcresthospitalmaternity for pregnancy and new baby related information and updates.

5 Hillcrest Private Hospital in conjunction with Julie Cardona and Associates, Audiologists and Speech and Language Therapists, are now able to offer Infant Hearing Screening to all babies born in the Maternity Unit at a special reduced rate of R per screening. This rate is only applicable for screening conducted whilst baby is still in the maternity unit. The Infant Hearing Screening programme includes High Frequency Tympanometry, Otoacoustic Emission (OAE) and Automated Auditory Brainstem Response (AABR). If you would like to take advantage of this opportunity, please fill in the details below and return to us via to or drop it off at the preadmission clinic on your next visit. Mother s Name ID address Cell number Due Date Patient Receipt Patient s signature

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