April, 2012  

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ee Break Webinar: 


Coordinating Middle Ear Referrals and Conducting Follow-up OAE Screenings  


May 18, 2012


3:00 p.m. Eastern
2:00 p.m. Central

1:00 p.m. Mountain
12:00 p.m. Pacific
11:00 a.m. Alaska
9:00 a.m. Hawaii


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ECHO Initiative Exhibits and Presentations  

Birth to Three Institute

Washington, DC 

June 11-14, 2012

Conference Website


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Probes and Tips 


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Tip of the Month
Coordinate Rescreens
with Health Care Providers

When a child does not pass the OAE screening and is referred for medical consultation, it will be important for you to find out what the Health Care Provider's diagnosis and treatment plan is, so that you can conductOtoscopy an OAE Rescreen at the appropriate time. 

Remember that most Providers will only be assessing and treating the child's outer and middle ear - it is your responsibility to complete the OAE Rescreen to check inner ear functioning.

In some cases, the Rescreen can be done shortly after the medical consultation. In other cases, you will need to wait longer. You may be coordinating follow-up with the child's Primary Care Provider, or the child may have been referred to an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Specialist.  

Here are several common scenarios you are likely to encounter, and general guidelines for when to rescreen. For example, if the child is:

  • Medically "cleared" (infection, fluid or blockage not present or resolved), you can conduct the OAE Rescreen immediately.
  • Treated for Otitis Media/middle ear fluid, you can conduct the OAE Rescreen approximately 2-3 weeks after antibiotic treatment has been completed, allowing time for fluid in the middle ear to dissipate.
  • Referred to an ENT specialist, receives PE tubes, etc., specifically ask the ENT whether a hearing test (VRA, ABR, or OAE) was also conducted at the conclusion of the treatment, and if the ear(s) passed.  If not, discuss with the ENT when to conduct the OAE Rescreen (usually about 1 week after PE tube placement, for example).
  • Not examined by a Health Care Provider because parents have not followed up, conduct the OAE Rescreen in 2 weeks.    

If the child passes the OAE Rescreen (or a hearing test) you can assume that the middle and inner ear are functioning properly, and no further action is needed until the next periodic screening.  If the child has chronic Otitis Media, more frequent monitoring may be needed.   


If the child does not pass the OAE Rescreen, then it is extremely important that a referral be made  to a Pediatric Audiologist for a complete evaluation.  

Probe of the Month

Do you have additional questions about the middle ear consultation?  If so, submit them to us at:




Then, tune into the ECHO Webinar on May 18th
(3:00 p.m. Eastern Time):


Coordinating Middle Ear Referrals and Conducting Follow-up OAE Screenings 


...where these and other questions will be addressed. 


And, as always, share www.KidsHearing.org with anyone you think would benefit from our resources.     


ECHO - Headstart 

Probes and Tips is a newsletter from the ECHO Initiative that provides monthly TIPS

to enhance early childhood hearing screening and follow-up practices and PROBES

 about current activities so we can learn from one another's successes and challenges.