At Melbourne Hearing Care Clinic, we provide full diagnostic audiology services for newborns. We offer a patient centered approach to healthcare and work to support families with newborns requiring audiology services.
All babies born in Australia undergo a newborn hearing test shortly after birth. Babies identified as requiring further testing, either due to a refer result on the newborn hearing test or a risk factor associated with hearing loss will be referred for diagnostic services. Parents with specific concerns regarding their child’s hearing may also attend for infant testing.
Diagnostic services provided at our clinic include:
- Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR)
- Auditory Steady State Response (ASSR)
- Oto-acoustic emissions (OAE)
Infant testing is performed while the child is asleep, typically in a parent’s arms. Recording pads are placed on the infant’s forehead and behind their ears. Sound is typically delivered though small foam earplugs and a response to the sound is detected and displayed on a computer. Tympanometry is performed at all appointments to assess the status of the middle ear and check for fluid build-up or Eustachian tube dysfunction, common causes of temporary hearing loss.
Should an infant be diagnosed with a permanent hearing loss, the audiologist will work to support the child’s family and carers through the diagnosis, including making referrals to ensure ongoing care. This can often be a very distressing time for families and support is available to work through diagnoses. Families of infants diagnosed with a permanent hearing loss will usually be referred to Hearing Australia to discuss amplification options. Referrals may also be made to the family’s General Practitioner, an Ear Nose and Throat specialist (to investigate the cause of the hearing loss), Early Support Services, a pathology centre for CMV testing or to a hearing care and investigation clinic at one of the major hospitals.