JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Hearing test on a baby. A probe is inserted into the ear of a sleeping newborn baby, during an Oto-Acoustic Emission (OAE) hearing test. This is part of a study by researchers at Southampton University, England, to detect hearing impairment in neonates. 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. The test lasts less than a minute. 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 extremely important.
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