Screening is a quick, often cost-effective, way to separate people into “pass” and “fail” groups in relation to hearing ability.
Those people who fail the “screening” should be followed-up by in-depth “testing” of their hearing.
Testing is a specific, in-depth, evaluation of a patient's hearing using sophisticated testing tools
that occasionally require many hours of investigation by a qualified audiology specialist – an Audiologist.
Infant hearing screening should be done at the hospital right after baby is born and before leaving the hospital.
This is easily accomplished with today's sophisticated and readily available sampling of the baby's brain waves using
computerized testing equipment known as Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR), or Oto-Acoustic Emissions (OAE)
which measure the tiny waves emitted from the baby's ear in response to sounds.
Hearing screening in infancy is among the primary advocacies of the Hearing Research Institute (HRI).
HRI Medical Director Doctor Robert E Pickard received the Southern Medical Association's Distinguished Service Medal
for his authoring and lobbying for passage of Florida House Bill #399 which mandates universal infant hearing screening
in the State of Florida and was enacted into law on June 6, 2000.
Since an ounce of protection is worth a pound of cure, hearing screening should be performed at periodic intervals
throughout your life to diagnose the loss as early as possible so as to minimize or eliminate any drastic interference
with speech, language, communication and cognition.
Anytime the screening indicates a “fail,” the Audiologist performs further testing of the patient's hearing.
After exhaustive testing, the Otologist can determine where the breakdown occurs along the pathway of hearing,
enabling the correct treatment, if any, for the hearing loss.