Otoacoustic emissions (OAE) hearing screening, used widely in hospital-based newborn hearing screening programs, represents a significant advance for screening young children. An objective method that screens hearing in a range of sound frequencies critical for normal speech and language development, portable OAE screening is the most practical method for screening infants and toddlers because it does not require a behavioral response from the child. It can help detect sensorineural hearing loss and call attention to hearing disorders affecting the pathway to the inner ear is quick and painless. The procedure is performed with a portable handheld screening unit. A small probe is placed in the child's ear canal. This probe delivers a low-volume sound stimulus into the ear. The cochlea responds by producing an otoacoustic emission, sometimes described as an “echo,” that travels back through the middle ear to the ear canal and is analyzed by the screening unit. In approximately 30 seconds, the result is displayed on the screening unit as a "pass" or a "refer." Otoacoustic emissions (OAE) screening can help to detect sensorineural hearing loss occurring in the cochlea. It can also call attention to hearing disorders affecting the pathway to the inner ear.
Dr. Patricia Larson Shields AuD SLP
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Patricia Larson Shields, AuD FAAA MA CCC-SP/L is a doctor of audiology with her degree from The School of Audiology of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry in February, 2003. She has been in business in Mitchell, SD since September, 1991.