Screening and Diagnosis Hearing tests

Hearing tests are recommended for babies that receive a ‘refer’ result after two hearing screens. The aim of hearing tests is to get a complete picture of the baby’s hearing.
There are several types of hearing tests an audiologist can use to diagnose hearing loss in babies. These include:

  • Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR)
  • Auditory Steady-State Response (ASSR)
  • Oto-acoustic emissions (OAE)
  • Tympanometry (tests middle ear function)

In most cases, families can find out the results of the hearing test on the day of assessment.

Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) test

The ABR is the main test given to babies. Sensors (like the ones used in the VIHSP hearing screen) are placed on the baby’s forehead and behind the ears with some sticky gel. Clicking sounds are played through an earpiece placed inside the baby’s ear while asleep. Responses to these sounds are recorded. This gives information about the softest level of sound the baby can hear and can help confirm whether further testing or further interventions (such as hearing aids) or special education may be recommended.

See the Related Links on the left of the screen for more diagnostic hearing tests for infants.