Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Program

You can contact the EHDI Program by clicking here.

Why is hearing screening part of Indiana’s newborn screen?

Simple tests can be used to screen a baby’s hearing immediately after birth. All babies can and should have their hearing screened before they leave the hospital (or before they are one month of age). It is important to find hearing loss early. Babies begin listening right away, and listening helps them learn how to talk.

Each year in the US, approximately 2 – 3 out of every 1,000 children are born with permanent hearing loss.

Without newborn hearing screening, most of these children would not be identified with hearing loss during babyhood.

By including hearing screening in Indiana’s newborn screen, most of these children an be identified before 3 months of age.

Notice of Privacy Practice for the ISDH Newborn Screening Program

Click here to read the HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practice for the ISDH Newborn Screening Program.

Click here to read the HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practice in Spanish.

How is newborn hearing screening done?

Newborn hearing screening is done before a baby is one month old. There are two types of screening done to evaluate a baby’s hearing.  Each screening test takes a few minutes, and is safe and painless.  Babies often sleep through these tests.

Oto-acoustic emissions (OAE) are one way to evaluate how a child hears.  During the OAE, sounds are sent to the baby’s ear canal, and a small microphone measures the response of the cochlea inside the ear.

Another way to evaluate hearing is called the automated auditory brainstem response test (AABR). During the AABR, sounds are presented through earphones.  Electrodes placed on the baby’s skin measure the activity of the baby’s brainstem in response to the sound presented through the earphones.

Possible results of newborn hearing screening

  • My baby passed his/her newborn hearing screen and does not need additional evaluation.
  • My baby did not pass his/her newborn hearing screen and needs additional evaluation. Click here for more information.
  • My baby passed his/her newborn hearing screen, but has risk factors. Click here for more information.

Can a baby pass the newborn hearing screen and still have hearing loss?

Although it doesn’t happen often, some babies with mild hearing loss or hearing loss in only one area may pass the newborn hearing screen. Some babies are born with normal hearing but develop hearing loss after birth, due to illness or a genetic condition. If your baby has a risk factor or you have concerns, have your baby tested.

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