Diagnostic Procedures after NHS

Traditionally, a bilateral REFER in the AABR testing of a NICU resident or a well-baby, initiates a series of clinical tests in order to verify the hearing status of the infant. In terms of time (after birth) these procedures might take place as early as 3 months. The objective of the testing is to evaluate the hearing level of the infant with the highest possible precision. Testing procedures include tone-burst ABRs, or Steady State responses (ASSR) which show a better threshold estimation in the lower frequencies (i.e. 250, 500 Hz). Once the hearing threshold data are available,  several solutions are possible :

(1) Usually the infant is fitted with a hearing aid till the age of 12 months. The fitting part of this procedure is crucial and very delicate because there is no objective feedback from the patient on the accuracy of the fitting, only the data from the threshold estimation.

(2) Once the infant reaches the age of 12 months it is possible to implant the ear presenting the worst hearing threshold. After 6 more months,  it is possible to evaluate the possibility of a second implant , although the current consensus indicates the use of a hearing aid and a CI. Data from infants presenting a severe haring losses suggest that a second implant might be very beneficiary for an additional linguistical development.