No clear response

Another test is performed when the newborn screening test does not show a clear response from an ear or both ears. This may be due to the presence of a background noise during the test or your baby may have been unsettled. Your baby may have had a temporary blockage in his or her ear at the time of test.

If your baby seems to be responding to sounds and has no symptoms of hearing loss, it is still important to take your baby to a second test if requested. Babies with a significant hearing loss can still react to sounds. If your baby has a hearing loss, the sooner you know the better you can help them.

The automated auditory brainstorm response screening test

The automated auditory brainstorm response screening test (or AABR screening test) will lead to further understanding about your baby’s hearing.

The small sound device used for the newborn screening test is replaced with a pair of soft headphones specifically for babies. Clicking sounds are played into the earphones. Your baby will have small sensors placed on his or her neck and head.

Once again, the test is performed when your baby is settled. It is considered ideal if your baby is asleep, so you could feed them before. You can stay with your baby throughout the test.

The AABR screening test can last between 10 and 30 minutes.

Further investigation

Should the AABR test results require further investigation, you will be referred to your local audiology department. The audiology department will provide information about your baby’s hearing.

Being referred to the audiology department does not necessarily mean your baby has a hearing loss.