Children's Hearing

Children’s Hearing Assessment

Audico offers a range of audiological assessments for infants and children of all ages and developmental levels. Parents who are concerned about their child’s hearing can self-refer and a full report is sent back to the child’s GP. In cases where a hearing impairment is detected onward referral to see an Ear Nose and Throat Consultant will be recommended. All children's hearing tests are completed in a sound-proof booth to give the most accurate results.

What happens at a Paediatric Appointment?

An examination of the ear (otoscopy) is carried out. It can help identify physical abnormalities, which may contribute to a hearing loss. It involves the Audiologist looking into the child’s ear with a light; it is both a safe and comfortable procedure. Dependent on the child’s age and developmental ability, their hearing will be tested by one of the below methods. Some children become nervous in a clinic environment or are shy in the presence of strangers. The clinical Audiologists will spend quite some time playing with these children to help them settle in and enjoy the listening games.

Tympanometry (All Ages)

Tympanometry records eardrum movement in response to a change in pressure. It is useful in detecting conditions such as middle ear fluid (glue ear), eardrum perforations and Eustachian tube dysfunction.

Otoacoustic Emissions - OAEs (All Ages)

Otoacoustic Emissions (OAEs) is a non-invasive, quick test. It usually takes a few minutes to obtain a response from both ears. It is essential that your child is quiet during this test. The test is performed by placing a small probe that contains a microphone and speaker into the patient’s ear. Sounds are generated in the probe and responses that come back from the cochlea are recorded. The test is used to determine the health of the hair cells in the cochlea (hearing organ) and is also used in the Newborn Hearing Screening programme.

Visual Reinforcement Audiometry (VRA) ( < 3 Years)

VRA is a test that examines a child’s behavioural response to sounds presented through speakers or insert earphones. On hearing and turning to the sound the child is rewarded by a dancing toy. Once the child is conditioned for testing, the stimulus is reduced to a faint level and the child’s hearing is checked across pitches of sound necessary to hear.

Performance/Play Audiometry (> 3 Years)

In older children, the child is instructed to place a block in a bucket when they hear a tone. This test may be carried out through a speaker or headphones.

Pure Tone Audiometry (>5 Years)

Pure Tone Audiometry is a hearing assessment which identifies the softest sound you can hear at a range of different frequencies using headphones. A bone vibrator (small band) is then placed behind your ear to determine whether your hearing loss is caused by a problem in the middle ear or inner ear.

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