If your baby have been ‘referred’ to take another OAE (Otoacoustic Emission) screening at 3-months old and still got a ‘referred’ mark, your ENT’s next recommendation for you will be to have ABR and/or ASSR soonest. These are further tests to diagnose if your baby indeed has hearing loss, and this time, up to what extent is the hearing loss.
What is ABR?
Auditory Brainstem Response or ABR is another hearing test that takes a look into the ears, nerves, and brain functions that don’t rely on your child having been able to say ‘yes, I hear it’ or ‘no, I can’t hear it’ when presented with sound (since they are still babies.)
What is ASSR?
Auditory Steady State Response or ASSR evaluates the ability to hear, and estimates the degree of hearing loss. This is very important in managing your child’s hearing loss levels as he grows up, and when you’re deciding on your amplification choices, if indeed your child has hearing loss.
Johann was around 4-months when we started the ‘process’. I say process because your baby needs to be really really still during the test. Johann was a light sleeper and since he’s the first born son/grandson, he was used to being carried while he slept. We had a difficult time keeping him still, either because if you carry him, you can’t breathe as deep as you want, or you put him down and he wake up, it will still affect the ABR/ASSR results!
Some would suggest to tire your baby the night before so he will really be asleep during the test, haha! Suffice to say we finished the ABR/ASSR test by the time Johann was 6-months old. 2 months of going back and forth the testing center could be cumbersome, but just have faith!
At around this time, your baby’s hearing loss is slowly setting up a new normal for you, and we know how it feels. The dawning of my child having a different way of hearing scared me at first, but as I equip myself with more information it slowly gets clearer. Praying the same for you!