my baby's hearing
 Hearing and AmplificationLanguage and LearningParent to Parent
Visit the Boys Town National Research Hospital Return to My Baby's Hearing Homepage National Institute on Deafness and Other Communicative Disorders
 
 

 

newborn screening
all about hearing loss
hearing aid choices
cochlear implants
causes of hearing loss
glossary


 
hearing and amplification
 


Newborn Screening
What Does it Mean if a Baby Fails the Newborn Hearing Screening Test?
download the pdf

Mother and babyWhen a baby fails the newborn hearing screening, it does NOT necessarily mean that he or she has a hearing loss. Between 2 and 10 percent of all babies across the United States do not pass their first hearing screening. Less than 1 percent will have a permanent hearing loss. Many of the babies who need follow-up testing will have normal hearing.

You may wonder why a baby with normal hearing would fail the newborn hearing-screening test. Some common reasons are:

  • Vernix in the ear canal
  • Fluid in the middle ear
  • Movement and/or crying during the test

Even though most babies will pass the follow-up hearing testing, it is VERY important to take your baby for follow-up testing. This is the best way to be SURE about your baby's hearing.