Application of otoacoustic emissions and brainstem evoked response audiometry in newborn hearing screening


  • Gangadhara K. S. Department of ENT, Shimoga Institute of Medical Sciences, Shivamogga, Karnataka, India
  • Amrutha V. Bhat Department of ENT, Shimoga Institute of Medical Sciences, Shivamogga, Karnataka, India
  • Sridhara S. Department of ENT, Shimoga Institute of Medical Sciences, Shivamogga, Karnataka, India



New-born hearing screening, Otoacoustic emissions, BERA


Background: Newborn hearing screening was conducted in a tertiary care hospital in a step by step manner using otoacoustic emissions (OAE) and brainstem evoked response audiometry (BERA) and details were recorded.

Methods: A prospective institutional based study was conducted. All the newborns born in the hospital over a period of 18 months from December 2018 to May 2020 were considered in the study. Healthy newborns were screened bedside within 24 hours of delivery and NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) babies were screened in the NICU. Handheld OAE apparatus was used as the initial screening tool. A total of 3 OAEs were done for babies with a “refer” result in the OAEs, which were done 1 month apart. Babies with a “refer” in the third OAE were subjected for BERA.

Results: A total of 14226 babies were screened at 24-48 hours of birth. Among them, 13,069 babies passed the first OAE screening in both ears. Remaining babies were referred for further follow-up. After subsequent follow-ups and successive testing, 11 babies were found to have hearing loss, which was diagnosed within 4-5 months of the child’s birth.

Conclusions: Universal newborn hearing screening is the need of the day. OAE is an effective screening tool for newborn hearing loss. When complemented by BERA, majority of congenitally deaf babies can be diagnosed at a very early age. This helps in early intervention.


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Original Research Articles