The History of Pediatric and Adult Hearing Screening

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1 Scopus citations


Objectives/Hypothesis: To document the history of hearing seeing in children and adults. Study Design: A literature search in all languages was carried out with the terms of hearing screening from the following sources: Pub Med, Science Direct, World Catalog, Index Medicus, Google scholar, Google Books, National Library of Medicine, Welcome historical library and The Library of Congress. Methods: The primary sources consisting of books, scientific reports, public documents, governmental reports, and other written material were analyzed to document the history of hearing screening. Results: The concept of screening for medical conditions that, when found, could influence some form of the outcome of the malady came about during the end of 19th century. The first applications of screening were to circumscribe populations, schoolchildren, military personnel, and railroad employees. During the first half of the 20th century, screening programs were extended to similar populations and were able to be expanded on the basis of the improved technology of hearing testing. The concept of universal screening was first applied to the inborn errors of metabolism of newborn infants and particularly the assessment of phenylketonuria in 1963 by Guthrie and Susi. A limited use of this technique has been the detection of genes resulting in hearing loss. The use of a form of hearing testing either observational or physiological as a screen for all newborns was first articulated by Larry Fisch in 1957 and by the end of the 20th century newborn infant screening for hearing loss became the standard almost every nation worldwide. Conclusions: Hearing screening for newborn infants is utilized worldwide, schoolchildren less so and for adults many industrial workers and military service undergo hearing screening, but this is not a general practice for screening the elderly. Level of Evidence: NA Laryngoscope, 131:S1–S25, 2021.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S1-S25
Issue numberS6
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Hearing screening
  • audiology
  • history

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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