Need Support

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-23-2006
Need Support
Wed, 08-08-2007 - 9:53pm

Hi Moms,

My name is Tina and I'm a first-time Mom to the love of my life, Christian. Christian failed both of his OAE's in the hospital, and were referred to an audiologist, who also administered an OAE, which he failed. At 2 months of age, we were sent to an ENT to check for fluid (none was detected). The ENT's office had their own audiologist team, who conducted more OAEs, which after some patience and time (we were there for 3 hours!), Christian did end up passing. We had an ABR scheduled, and our pediatrician instructed us it was not necessary.

We just went to his 6 month follow-up with the audiologist, who conducted another OAE, and he has failed these tests again. So, we are back on square one. We have rescheduled the ABR for next week.

I am confused as why he is passing some of these tests and failing others. Christian is now 6 months old, and my husband and I are so upset that he may not have been getting the treatment he needed due to a misdiagnosis.

I'm going through an emotional rollercoaster. Christian is such a vocal and responsive baby. He coos and laughs and yells all day long. I shake a rattle behind his head, and he turns. I drop a book on the floor, and he responds. We are just so confused, and I am so so scared.

I'm looking for some other Moms who have gone through seems like no one can give me answers.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2007
In reply to: peewee4506
Thu, 08-09-2007 - 12:09am

Hi Peewee

We had a similar experience with our son. They couldn't determine if he actually had hearing loss or not. He is severely cognitively delayed also so a good hearing eval was difficult to attain. In our case Dh and I were certain he was not hearing because he didn't respond to any auditory stimuli, but some of the audios and speech paths thought he was hearing. After moving on to a hospital that is well known for their work with the hearing impaired, we learned that Mo is deaf.

From what you've described here I would continue to find out for sure about the hearing but try not to stress too much about it. The fact that he coos and laughs are good signs. Does his cooing have any consonant sounds. Example: does he say any sounds like buh, mmmm, duh, or is it simply oohs and aahs. Consonant sounds are typically of a higher frequency and can go unheard with hearing loss. He may still be a bit young, so if he's not making these sounds don't get too stressed, it's simply something to keep an ear open to. When you shake a rattle behind him it is important to make sure that there is no way he can see the rattle or your hand. Kids with hearing loss often overcompensate with their other senses and their peripeheral vision can be remarkable. This was happening with our son. One speech path was convinced that he could hear, she would shake a toy , he'd turn to it, and she'd say "see he can hear that" my gut told me that he was seeing, not hearing. The same goes for dropping a book, deaf and hearing impaired kiddos are extremely vibratactile. Even with a hearing loss he may turn to a dropped book because he "feels" it. In fact, when our son is not wearing his cochlear implant, we get his attention by stomping our foot on the floor, he will turn toward us when he feels the vibration. Have someone take a toy or other noise maker into another room and see if he responds, notice if he turns to the sound of the telephone, tv, radio, etc.

I strongly recommend that you make sure that the ENT you are seeing is well known and respected. Ask to have an ABR (auditory brain response) done. This will detect sensory neural hearing loss.

I understand your concern and your fear. However, I assure you that even if he is hearing impaired, he'll be okay. Hearing loss can be worked with and these kids, even deaf kids, can lead very good, fulfilled lives.

For what it's worth. There is some concern that our sweet 6 month old daughter, who has Down Syndrome, may also have some hearing loss. We're working on finding out for sure. Yes, I'm a bit fearful. I would love for her to have hearing but if not, we'll make the best of it.

It's important to be proactive but not reactive.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
In reply to: peewee4506
Thu, 08-09-2007 - 4:52pm

Hi "peewee". Sorry to hear about your ds! I can understand your frustrations. I too would be upset if something went undetected, but it is not too late to make a difference!! OAE's are "failed" if the hearing loss is above about 40dB (which really constitutes a moderate loss). An ABR will do more precise threshold searches and will give you a good picture of any loss that may be present. OAE are also "failed" if there is any fluid in the middle ear. Be patient until the ABR (I know this is easy for me to say!) and wait for the results of the test. Once you get those results ask for clarification as to the results and should you have any more questions please feel free to come back here and ask away!!

Keep us posted, and good luck!

Maria :)

Maria :)