Screening of Hearing Impairment in High-Risk Neonates with the Use of OAE and BERA
30 September 2019 (online)
Introduction WHO defines disabling hearing loss as: “hearing loss greater than 40 dB in the better hearing ear in adults (15 years or older) and greater than 30 dB in the better hearing ear in children (0 to 14 years)”. Any problem with hearing could mean a severe impairment in language learning and speech formation abilities. Failure to detect and effectively manage hearing impairment in the first 6 months of life has been associated with substantial and irreversible deficits in speech, linguistic, and cognitive development, which can result in poor educational and vocational attainment in later life. The prevalence of congenital hearing loss has been reported to be 1 to 6 per 1,000 live births by American Speech Language Hearing Association.
Aims and Objectives Screening of hearing impairment in high-risk neonates with the use of OAE and BERA. The study was focused to identify children with profound SNHL in high-risk neonates. For the study babies admitted to NICU during the study period were screened through a three-stage screening process.
Materials and Methods The study was done at HBTMC and Dr. R. N. Cooper Municipal General Hospital, Vile Parle (west), Mumbai-56. The study population comprised all the high-risk babies born in HBTMC and Dr. R.N.C.H and admitted to NICU during the study period which qualified the inclusion and exclusion criteria mentioned in following sections. This was a prospective observational study.
Methodology Screening was done for neonates by DPOAE within 72 hours of NICU admission (OAE-1). Babies referred by OAE-1 were instructed to come back within 28 days of birth for repeat DPOAE test (OAE-2). Babies referred by OAE-2 were asked to come back after further 2 months for BERA.
Conclusion OAE and BERA are used globally for screening of newborn for hearing disability. This study found prevalence of profound SNHL as 5 in 410, which means 12.20 (or 12 on rounding off to nearest digit) per 1,000. This is much higher compared with prevalence of 1 to 6 per thousand live births among normal babies.