Hearing loss is the most common disorder at birth and can lead to impaired language skills, behavioural problems and poor academic achievement in later life. The importance of screening newborns for hearing loss is clear as research shows early detection and intervention can help improve speech and language skills and the educational achievement of the affected patients. Neonatal hearing loss can result from conductive, sensorineural, and mixed defects. Conductive loss usually results from abnormalities of the outer or middle ear. Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) results from disorders of the inner ear, it involves the inner and outer cells of the cochlea and the eighth nerve components of the auditory neural pathway. Mixed loss results from a combination of hearing disorders. Public Health England provides information on the Newborn hearing screening programme (NHSP) which provides operational guidance, educational requirements of screeners and equipment and treatment details. All babies under 3 months in England are eligible for screening with the exception of those with microtia or atresia in either ear and babies with either confirmed or suspected bacterial meningitis or meningococcal septicaemia. Screenings can be done at hospitals and in the community. The NHS Newborn Screening Programme operational guidance brings together all the guidelines and recommendations to help those delivering the screening programme.
Find out more here Newborn Hearing Screening Guidance