Did you know that when a baby is born in Spain, they undergo a series of tests to verify that they do not have any hearing problems? This is Neonatal Screening and it is a crucial medical procedure because the identification of hearing problems in newborns can have a significant impact on their linguistic, cognitive and emotional development. For this reason, the objective of neonatal screening is to identify deafness as quickly as possible and in this way they can receive appropriate intervention and treatment as soon as possible, which can greatly improve and even solve the delay in their development.

The most common tests performed in neonatal screening are evoked potentials (EAP) and otoemissions (OAE), which are objective tests with a minimal margin of error.

Below we are going to explain what these tests are based on:


It is a non-invasive test that takes just 5 minutes. A small, highly sensitive microphone that emits stimulating sounds is placed in the baby's ear canal while collecting responses from the inner ear originated from the hair cells of the organ of Corti (which is the organ responsible for hearing). If there is no response or the response is limited, it means there may be a hearing problem, at which point further tests would be done to evaluate this more accurately.


Potentials measure the electrical activity of the baby's brain in response to sound stimuli. In this test, electrodes are placed on the baby's head to record brain responses caused by sounds, in such a way that we obtain detailed information on the child's processing of auditory stimuli.

Neonatal screening is not a definitive diagnosis for hearing loss, it is the first step in identifying possible hearing problems. If necessary after doing these tests, they can be referred to an otolaryngologist to determine the degree and cause of the hearing loss. It is even possible that the hearing loss may appear late and, if the doctor has considered that the baby is at risk of being one of the cases, it will also proceed to do a periodic checkup to keep everything under control.