Newborn Hearing Impairment: Device and Biological Advancements Newborn screening for hearing impairment has been a significant advance in health care in the United States. Each year, approximately two or three of every 1,000 children are born in the U.S. with a detectable hearing loss. Detection of hearing impairment from birth to the first several years of ... Article
Article  |   November 01, 2006
Newborn Hearing Impairment: Device and Biological Advancements
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Nancy Freeman
    National Institutes of Health National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, Bethesda, MD
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Articles
Article   |   November 01, 2006
Newborn Hearing Impairment: Device and Biological Advancements
SIG 9 Perspectives on Hearing and Hearing Disorders in Childhood, November 2006, Vol. 16, 3-8. doi:10.1044/hhdc16.2.3
SIG 9 Perspectives on Hearing and Hearing Disorders in Childhood, November 2006, Vol. 16, 3-8. doi:10.1044/hhdc16.2.3
Newborn screening for hearing impairment has been a significant advance in health care in the United States. Each year, approximately two or three of every 1,000 children are born in the U.S. with a detectable hearing loss. Detection of hearing impairment from birth to the first several years of life is important for the normal development of language and speech skills, which can be significantly hindered if detection of hearing loss is delayed.
Although hearing tests for neonates were first discussed as early as the 1940s (Ewing & Ewing, 1944), a widespread screening program was not implemented until 1989 in the state of Rhode Island (see Figure 1, page 4) (Vohr et al., 2002; Vohr, 1995). As of 2005, mandatory newborn hearing screening programs had been implemented in 39 states and the District of Columbia. Voluntary programs were implemented in five states, largely as a result of recommendations of the National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Conference Early Identification of hearing Impairment in Infants and Young Children (NIH, 1993a; NIH, 1993b). As a consequence, approximately 95% of all newborns in the U.S. now are screened for hearing loss (ASHA, 2005).
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