Newborn Hearing Screening


Newborn Hearing Screening Program

We take every step to ensure your newborn is healthy in every way. All infants born at Munson Healthcare hospitals in Cadillac, Charlevoix, Gaylord, Grayling, Manistee, and Traverse City are screened for hearing impairment before they leave the hospital. We use two reliable screening methods:

  • Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR)
  • Otoacoustic Emissions Test (OAE)

Learn more about these tests here.

Both of these screenings are safe and painless. It is important that babies are calm and quiet for both tests. During an ABR test, electrodes are placed on the baby's forehead and behind each earlobe. Small earphones are placed into the infant's ear and a clicking sound is presented. This test evaluates how sound travels along the hearing nerve. Infants with abnormally functioning middle ears, such as middle ear fluid, will not pass the screening. During an OAE screening, a miniature earphone and microphone are used to deliver sound and measure a response. 

Follow-up Screening is Important

If your baby does not pass the initial screening, he or she should be re-screened before one month of age. If your infant doesn't pass the second screening, further testing should be performed as soon as possible.

Early Childhood Hearing Interventions Can Help

Hearing impairment is relatively uncommon in newborns. About three out of every 1,000 babies are born with hearing loss each year. When hearing loss is detected early, intervention and services can begin to assist with your baby's speech development, social, emotional well-being, and learning. 

Munson Healthcare's team of hearing and speech professionals will support your child and family every step of the way. 

Let Us Help You Hear

Schedule an appointment for a hearing evaluation by calling 231-935-6455 or email