Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) ensures babies are screened for hearing loss in a timely manner. All babies should be screened for hearing loss before one month of age, ideally before a baby leaves the birthing facility.
What does the program do?
Along with Newborn Metabolic Screening and Children 1st, the EHDI program maintains and supports a comprehensive, coordinated, statewide screening and referral system. EHDI includes screening for hearing loss in the birthing hospital, referral of those who do not pass the initial hospital screening for rescreening, ensuring newborns who do not pass rescreening receive a diagnostic audiological evaluation, and linkage to appropriate intervention for those babies diagnosed with hearing loss. Technical assistance and training about implementing and maintaining a quality newborn hearing screening program is available to hospitals, primary care physicians, audiologists, early interventionists, and public health staff.
Why is the program important?
The first year of life is a crucial period for development, particularly language. Without newborn screening, hearing loss is not typically identified until two years of age. Screening all newborns prior to discharge from a birthing center is essential for the earliest possible identification of hearing loss and consequently for language, communication, educational, and reading potential to be maximized.
More than half of babies born with hearing problems are otherwise healthy and have no family history of hearing loss. If your baby has hearing loss, you can still help your baby develop language skills. The sooner you act, the better the outcome.
Screening for hearing loss as early as possible is important to your baby because:
- Early screening allows for early treatment if hearing loss is detected
- Early treatment can provide earlier sound stimulation for your baby’s brain
Resources for Parents
- Download a list of public organizations dedicated to providing information to families of infants and children diagnosed with hearing loss and the professionals who work with these individuals, featuring a glossary of helpful terms to know:
- Download a copy of the Georgia Resource Guide for Parenting a Child with Hearing Loss:
For more information
Phone: (912) 284-2920
Fax: (912) 338-5914