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Your baby will have the best chance for normal language development if a hearing loss is discovered and treatment begins by the age of 6 months.
So how exactly do you test a baby's hearing?
The 2 primary methods are:
- Automated Auditory Brainstem Response (AABR)—This test measures how the hearing nerve responds to sound. Clicks or tones are played through soft earphones into the baby's ears. Three electrodes placed on the baby's head measure the hearing nerve's response.
- Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE)—This test measures sound waves produced in the inner ear. A tiny probe is placed just inside the baby's ear canal. It measures the response (echo) when clicks or tones are played into the baby's ears.
If you have any concerns about your child's hearing or delays in speech/language development, be certain to follow-up with your pediatrician and get a referral to a licensed audiologist.