Listen Up! Nevada Newborn Hearing Screening Program

Division of Public and Behavioral Health
Bureau of Child, Family, and Community Wellness
Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program

4150 Technology Way, Suite 210
Carson City, NV 89706
hone: (775) 684-4285
Website: Nevada Early Hearing Detection & Intervention (NV EHDI)

If you need help finding an audiologist You can call (775) 688-0328

Why Should My Baby's Hearing Be Screened?

Hearing loss is one of the most common problems in newborns. It occurs in 3-4 of every 1,000 babies. It is also invisible. You cannot always tell by watching how well babies hear. They may cry, babble, or startle to loud noises, just like babies with normal hearing. Most babies born with hearing loss are otherwise healthy and have no family history of hearing loss.

Your baby's first two years are the most important for learning speech and language. Undetected hearing loss can lead to delayed development and difficulties in school. Fortunately, if hearing loss is identified early and< intervention occurs by age 6 months, the child has a better chance of developing normal speech and language skills.

How Will My Baby's Screening Test Be Done?

The screening is done in the hospital before your baby goes home. Soft sounds are played through special earphones. A computer measures how the baby's ear responds to the sound. Screening is safe, painless and only takes a few minutes. Most babies sleep through the hearing screening. Some babies may require a second screening if they are too active or have birthing fluids in the ear canal.

What if My Baby Does Not Pass the Screening?

If your baby does not pass the screening, he will need a referral. This does not mean that your baby is deaf or hard-of-hearing. It just means your baby needs to have a different type of test to determine if hearing loss is present. A complete hearing test will need to be given by an audiologist (hearing specialist). This hearing test should occur as soon as possible, but at least by three months of age. It your baby has hearing loss, you will be referred to an early intervention program for support and services.

If My Baby Passes the Screening, Do I Need to Retest Hearing Later?

The results of the hearing screening show how your baby is hearing at the time of the procedure. For a variety of reasons, hearing loss can develop after your baby leaves the hospital. Some children with a family history of hearing loss, ear infections or serious illness may develop hearing loss at a later time. If you have concerns about your child’s hearing or language development, talk to your child’s doctor. Ask to see an audiologist. Your child’s hearing can be tested at any age.

Speech, Language & Hearing Development

Healthy hearing is important for your baby’s development. Here is a list of things babies with normal hearing should be able to do:

Around 2 months of age:

  • Startles to loud sounds
  • Quiets to familiar voices
  • Makes vowel sounds like "oohh" and "aahh"

Around 4 months of age:

  • Searches for sounds with eyes
  • Responds to your voice even when he/she cannot see you
  • Uses a variety of voice sounds such as squeals, whimpers and chuckles

Around 6 months of age:

  • Turns head toward sounds
  • Begins to imitate speech sounds
  • Babbles "ba-ba" and "ma-ma"

Around 12 months of age:

  • Correctly uses "ma-ma" and "da-da"
  • Gives toy when asked
  • Responds to singing and music

Around 18 months of age:

  • Follows simple spoken directions
  • Uses seven or more real words

Remember, you can have your child's hearing tested at any age.

This publication was supported by the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health through Grant Number H61MC25010 from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)