December, 2013   

Probes & Tips header
Upcoming Events

ECHO Initiative 
Introductory Webinar 
for EHS Programs:

Tuesday, January 14th
12:00 p.m. EST

Please plan to join us to
get acquainted with OAE screening and learn about establishing an effective
hearing screening protocol
for your program

Register Here 

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ECHO Initiative
Follow-up Webinar
for EHS Programs
currently conducting
OAE screening

Tuesday, January 21st
12:00 p.m. EST

Please plan to join us for an opportunity to re-examine effective OAE program practices and to reflect on your own OAE screening experience.

New to
OAE Screening? 

If your program is new to OAE screening,
or if you have added new staff who need
instruction on OAE
screening practices,
visit our
 where staff can view instructional video
modules and access the corresponding

Quick Links


Find more helpful hints from previous issues of

 Probes and Tips 

and many other
resources at: 

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Tip of the Month
Understand Basic Ear Anatomy     and the OAE Screening Process    

A good way to get the "big picture" of the screening and follow-up protocol is to visualize the steps as a flowchart.

A more detailed understanding of the protocol as it relates to basic ear anatomy can also be helpful.  The graphic illustrations below show how the OAE probe is sending a signal into the ear and the ear's response under a variety of conditions.


If you get a PASS on the OAE screening, it means that the sound stimulus traveled from the probe to the inner ear and that the inner ear responded by sending an otoacoustic emission (OAE) back to the probe.  

 Screening is complete for that ear.     


If an ear does NOT PASS, further investigation is needed:

  • SCREEN again (OAE 2) in two weeks in case the first result was due to screener error or a temporary condition (like a head cold).

If the ear still does NOT PASS:

  • REFER the child to a Health Care Provider who can check whether a common problem, such as blockage in the outer ear or fluid in the middle ear (otitis media) is present. These conditions may block the sound stimulus from reaching the inner ear or the OAE response from returning to the probe. Medication or treatment may be necessary.
  • RESCREEN (OAE 3) the ear after medical clearance.

If the ear still does NOT PASS:

  • REFER the child to a pediatric audiologist who can evaluate whether the inner ear is functioning or whether a permanent hearing loss is present.


The OAE screening and follow-up process is COMPLETE ONLY when:

  • Both ears PASS the screening, or  
  • An AUDIOLOGICAL EVALUATION has been completed and you have received the diagnostic results.

For a printed copy of the information above, and for more detailed directions on the "next step" for any individual child not passing the screening, view the Recommended OAE Screening Protocol.  

Probe of the Month
  Let us know if you have any questions about the basics of the OAE screening process and protocol:  


  [email protected]    


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

 ECHO - Headstart

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2615 Old Main Hill
Logan, UT 84322

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.