Permanent hearing loss is one of the most common conditions found in newborns. Without screening, it can be hard to tell if a baby has hearing loss. Even though a baby may respond to sounds, they may not hear well enough to develop speech and language fully.
Over half of all babies identified with permanent hearing loss are healthy and have no family history. The earlier hearing loss is found, the sooner a baby will have support to help them develop language to prevent delays in their development.
Hearing screening is quick, safe, and will not hurt your baby. Have your baby’s hearing screened as early as possible.
Alberta’s Early Hearing Detection & Intervention (EHDI) Program is a provincial screening program offered by AHS. The program identifies permanent hearing loss as early as possible. This ensures that follow-up and support can be provided sooner to babies and their families.
Newborn hearing screening through the EHDI Program is now available across the province. Screening is offered, free of charge, in hospital to inpatients on all NICUs and many postpartum units (at most hospitals with over 200 births per year), or by appointment at select community screening sites. All babies born in Alberta, or born to parents who live in Alberta, are eligible for hearing screening within 90 days of birth. It’s best for babies to be screened by 1 month of age.
Visit the EHDI Program’s service listing to learn more about the program and to find out where newborn hearing screening is available near you.
If you are ever concerned about your baby’s hearing, speak with their healthcare provider or call Health Link at 811.