Skip to main content

Your baby's visit to the audiology clinic


Version 11, October 2020
 

Contents

― Your baby’s visit to the audiology clinic
Why does my baby need another hearing test?
― How likely is it that my baby has a hearing loss?
― When and where will the test be done
― How the test is done
― What happens after the test
― Further tests that are used
― Finding out more
― Using your information

 


 

Your baby’s visit to the audiology clinic

This leaflet is for you if your baby needs a hearing assessment. It explains:

  • why your baby needs another hearing test;
  • how likely it is that your baby has a hearing loss;
  • when and where the test is done; and
  • what will happen after the test.
     

Why does my baby need another hearing test?

The screening tests did not show a clear response from one or both of your baby’s ears.

This does not necessarily mean your baby has a hearing loss.

It may be because:

  • your baby was unsettled;
  • there was fluid in the ear (from the birth); or
  • there was too much noise near your baby when the test was done.

You can choose whether or not your baby has this test.
 

How likely is it that my baby has a hearing loss?

One or two babies in every 1000 are born with a hearing loss in both ears. Most of these babies are born into families where no-one else has a hearing loss. A smaller number are born with a hearing loss in one ear. A baby who needed special care may be more likely to have a hearing loss. Finding out early means that you and your baby get support and information right from the start.

The box below shows the chance of your baby having a hearing loss if they need to have a hearing assessment.

This means that for every 10 babies who have a diagnostic hearing test, one will have a permanent hearing loss.
 

When and where the test will be done

The test will be done in a hospital clinic. We will send most babies an appointment for the test about four weeks after the screening test. Babies who are born very early will be tested after the date they were due to be born. This allows time for your baby’s hearing pathway to develop.
 

How the test is done

The test is done by an audiologist (hearing specialist). The test is done while your baby is settled or asleep. The appointment usually takes about two hours and includes time to settle your baby to sleep. You can stay with your baby while the test is done. Three small sticky pads are put on your baby’s head. Earphones are put in your baby’s ears, which will make different sounds. A computer shows the audiologist how your baby’s ears are responding to the sound.

A small soft-tipped earpiece may be put in the outer part of your baby’s ear. This will show whether there is fluid in your baby’s ear.


 

What happens after the test

If both of your baby’s ears show a clear response, this means that your baby is unlikely to have a hearing loss. The audiologist will give you information on how babies respond to sound as they grow. They will tell you what to do if you have any worries about your baby’s hearing.

The test may not show a clear response from one or both of your baby’s ears. The audiologist will explain what this means. There are different types and levels of hearing loss. More tests may be needed before you know about your baby’s hearing. The audiologist will plan with you the best time for your baby to have more tests.
 

Further tests that are used

The audiologist may repeat the first test your baby had. A small sound maker may be placed behind your baby’s ear. This test shows the audiologist how your baby’s inner ears are responding to the sound.

After the test, the audiologist will answer any questions you have. If your baby has a hearing loss, you will be offered support and given more information.

Finding out more

If you would like more information or want to talk to someone about your baby’s hearing, you can contact:

North Wales: 01978 727005

Mid and West Wales: 01792 343364

South East Wales: 02921 843568

You can also contact the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS).  The society has a helpline for parents and families who would like information about hearing tests and any type of childhood hearing loss.

E-mail: ndcs@ndcs.org.uk
Website: www.ndcs.org.uk

Interpreter Now: https://interpreternow.co.uk/ndcs

 

Freephone helpline: 0808 800 8880 (v/t)

(other methods of contact also available, see -

 https://www.ndcs.org.uk/our-services/services-for-families/helpline/

 

Using your information

For us to contact you as part of the programme, we will need to handle some of your and your baby’s personal information. If you want more information, see the Public Health Wales privacy notice; email: PHW.InformationGovernance@wales.nhs.uk; or phone: 02920 104307.

We also keep your baby’s personal details to make sure that the standard of our service is as high as possible. This includes checking your baby’s records if your baby is found to have a hearing loss after having a screening test which showed a normal result.

You can find out more on the Newborn Hearing Screening Wales website.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions about Newborn Hearing Screening Wales, please email us through our website or phone us on one of the numbers below.

North Wales:                01978 727005

Mid and West Wales:   01792 343364

South East Wales:        02921 843568

 

If you have any concerns, please write to:

The Director of Screening Services

4th Floor, Capital Quarter

2 Tyndall Street

Cardiff,

CF10 4BZ

We welcome correspondence and phone calls in Welsh. We will respond in Welsh without delay.