Newborn Hearing Screenings
Meadowcrest Audiology is a provider for the Virginia Department of Health in screening newborns for hearing loss. Testing is performed using Otoacoustic Emissions Testing (OAEs).
In a normal ear with no more than a very mild hearing loss, microscopic hair cells within the cochlea (hearing organ) produce a sound (emission) when exposed to auditory stimulation. After placing a soft probe into the ear canal, a series of low to high pitched tones are generated into the outer ear, the emissions are detected, and then measured all within a minute or two. Since OAEs are only present in normal hearing ears, a passing test means the emissions are present. It is a simple, non-invasive way to test infants.