Important information for parents

Every baby in Ohio gets screened for hearing loss when they are born. Hearing loss is the most common condition present at birth. Hearing loss can happen even when no one else in the family has a hearing loss.

Hearing loss impacts communication.

About screening tests

A screening test is used to find babies who need more testing to identify a health condition. Your baby has been screened for hearing loss. The screening test lets us know if your baby is at risk for hearing loss.

There are two types of results:
“pass” result means that no hearing loss was found.
“non-pass” result means that there is a chance your baby has hearing loss.

Sometimes babies pass the screening test and do have hearing loss (this is called a “false negative”). Sometimes babies do not pass the screening test and do not have hearing loss (this is called a “false positive”).

There are two types of screening tests that your baby may have been given: Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) test and the Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) test. These screening tests are safe and quick.

Learn more about Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI)

Babies can hear sound and speech before they are born. Babies know their mother’s voice too! After babies are born, they hear many sounds and are listening to us as we talk to them and others.

Hearing spoken words early in life is really important for babies and children to learn to talk. Hearing is also important in learning to read.

Remember, hearing loss is invisible. Deaf and hearing babies look alike. Hearing testing can find the hearing loss.

If your baby has hearing loss and it is not found early, the baby may not develop speech and may have a hard time communicating.

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