JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Hearing test on a baby. Dr Lindsay Kimm conducts an Oto-Acoustic Emission (OAE) test of the hearing in a newborn baby. Kimm is the project co-ordinator at Southampton University, England, of a study to detect hearing impairment in neonates. A small probe has been placed in the ear of the baby while it sleeps. The probe emits harmless sounds down the baby's ear. The response of the cochlea inner ear to different frequency sounds is detected and registered on computer. If the baby fails the OAE test, a further test will confirm hearing impairment. Hearing impairment can affect the speech and language development in young children. Early diagnosis is thus important.
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