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