Newborn Hearing Screening Misses Some Children with Hearing Loss

The implementation of mandatory newborn hearing screenings is definitely worthwhile and beneficial. However, some newborns receive a passing score when they actually have hearing loss. In other cases, babies who are born with normal hearing sensitivity may develop a progressive hearing loss as they age.

Dr. David Chi, lead author from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center study, reported that parents and physicians may mistakenly think, “this child passed their newborn hearing screening, so they must not have any hearing loss.”

According to the National Institutes of Health, two to three out of every 1,000 children born in the United States are born either deaf or with some type of hearing challenge.

Dr. Chi and his colleagues are looking into developing strategies for screening young children after their initial newborn hearing screening. One possibility is implementing a standard second round of screening at 3 months of age.

If you have concerns about your child’s hearing, speech or language development, schedule another hearing screening. It is critical for parents (and physicians) to not rely on the sole fact the child passed a newborn hearing screening.