Universal Newborn Hearing Screening in Malaysia: Why Is It Important for Your Baby's Development?


Hello New Parents!

Are you aware of Malaysia's Universal Newborn Hearing Screening (UNHS)? The National Newborn Hearing Screening Program (UNHS) ensures that your newborn's hearing is tested within the first few weeks of life and it is available in Malaysia.

What is the significance of this?

One to two babies in every 1,000 are born with permanent hearing loss in 1 or both ears. Because hearing is vital in developing speech and language, early detection of hearing loss can lead to early intervention and better outcomes for your child. Because hearing is essential in developing speech and language, early detection of hearing loss can lead to early intervention and better results for your child.

National Newborn Hearing Screening Program

UNHS is now widely available in Malaysia, and the procedure is simple and painless. Your baby's hearing will be tested using a small device known as an otoacoustic emissions (OAE) test or an auditory brainstem response (ABR) test. Both tests are non-invasive and take only a few minutes to complete.

The OAE test measures the sound produced by the cochlea in response to a sound stimulus. On the other hand, the ABR test measures electrical activity in the auditory nerve and brainstem in response to sounds presented to the ear. If your baby fails the initial screening, it will be referred for additional testing and evaluation.

Hearing screening for newborns are painless and may be done while the baby is sleeping.

Regardless of whether newborns are born with or without risk factors for hearing loss, all newborns should receive UNHS. Early detection of hearing loss is critical to ensuring your child gets the appropriate intervention services and support.

UNHS is a crucial program for all newborns in Malaysia. It's a simple and painless process that can detect hearing loss early and lead to better outcomes for your child's development. If your newborn fails the newborn test, you can seek professional help from our reliable hearing health practitioners.

Here are some reasons why UNHS is important for your baby's development:

  1. Early Detection: UNHS allows for early detection of hearing loss, which means that intervention can begin as soon as possible. This can lead to better outcomes for your child's speech and language development, social and emotional well-being, and overall quality of life.
  2. Treatment: Early detection of hearing loss allows for early treatment, which can prevent or minimize the negative impact of hearing loss on your child's development. Treatment options may include hearing aids, cochlear implants, or other therapies.
  3. Cost-Effective: Early detection and treatment of hearing loss can save families and the healthcare system significant costs over time. Delayed diagnosis and intervention may increase healthcare costs and lifelong learning difficulties.
  4. Peace of Mind: UNHS can provide parents with peace of mind, knowing that their child's hearing has been thoroughly tested and any issues can be addressed early.

In the Nutshell:

  1. UNHS is a quick and non-invasive screening process that can be done shortly after birth. The test typically takes just a few minutes and is painless for the baby.
  2. UNHS is essential for all newborns, not just those with a family history of hearing loss or other risk factors. Some babies with hearing loss may not have any obvious signs or symptoms, so screening is necessary to identify those who may benefit from early intervention.
  3. UNHS is just the first step in ensuring that children with hearing loss receive the support they need. If a baby fails the initial screening, further testing and evaluation will be necessary to determine the extent and type of hearing loss and to develop an appropriate treatment plan.
  4. UNHS is part of a comprehensive approach to supporting children with hearing loss that includes early intervention services, family support, and ongoing monitoring and follow-up.
  5. Parents should be aware that even if their child passes the initial screening, you should monitor their hearing and speech development. You should speak with their healthcare provider to determine if further evaluation is necessary if you have any concerns.

What can we do?

The Listening Lab Malaysia provides hearing tests for newborns and infants and gives proper recommendations after diagnosis. We also promote childhood hearing tests such as Tympanometry, Middle Ear Muscle Reflex (MEMR) Test, Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) Test, Auditory Steady State Response (ASSR) Test, Central Auditory Evoked Potential (CAEP) Test and Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) Test. Let your child undergo the test in our clinic for proper guidance and planning. Book an appointment today and save money by getting the right treatment plan for your child. You may also contact us through Whatsapp.