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Probes and Tips - September 2009 - Selecting Otoacoustic Emissions Hearing Screening Equipment

the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Mangement

This newsletter provides TIPS to enhance your OAE screening and follow-up practices and PROBES about current activities so we can learn from one another's successes and challenges. Check out our website for more helpful resources:

September, 2009 issue

Tip of the Month

Take Time to Carefully Select Otoacoustic Emissions Hearing Screening Equipment

Selecting Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) hearing screening equipment that will work well with young children and infants is one of the the most critical decisions that program personnel make.  Some early childhood programs have purchased equipment assuming that all OAE equipment would be equally effective with the birth to three population.  This is not the case.  OAE screening units can vary in their effeciveness with the birth to three population in several different ways.   For example,  not all equipment works equally well when a child moves or is in an environment where there is a moderate amount of sound.  Having equipment that can screen under these conditions can be very helpful.  There can be a real advantage to having equipment that allows children to be screened in their play environments rather than having to be pulled into an artificial, removed setting.   This is just one example of why it is so important to evaluate OAE equipment options before making a purchase.

The attached checklist provides a description of how early childhood health and education providers can evaluate OAE hearing screening equipment before making purchasing decisions.  Be sure to review it if you are replacing a piece of hearing screening equipment or purchasing a new one.  This checklist will be especially helpful to programs who are just starting an OAE screening program and are faced with the decision about which brand of equipment will best serve their needs. 

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