Hearing Loss in Children
No child is too young to have his or her hearing tested. In fact, some hearing tests can be done on newborns. These tests are important because they help identify hearing problems early. The sooner a hearing problem is found, the sooner managing hearing loss can begin. This allows for the best possible outcome for the child. If you have any concerns about your child’s hearing, speak with your pediatrician or make an appointment with our audiologist.
It is generally recommended that all babies be screened within the first month of life. Infancy is an important time for speech and language development. If the screening tests identify that your child has a hearing loss, further testing may be needed. Below are common hearing tests that are performed on children and infants.
Hearing Tests for Infants and Children
There are two primary types of hearing screening methods for children and infants including newborns. These may be used alone or together depending on your child’s needs.
Tympanometry: This looks at middle ear function in infants. The audiologist will see how well your child’s eardrum responds to sound pressure. It is painless and can be completed in less than one minute.
Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE): An audiologist inserts a small, flexible plug into the ear and sends sounds through the plug. A microphone in the plug records the otoacoustic emissions of the normal ear in reaction to the sounds. There are little or no emissions in a baby with hearing loss. This only takes a few minutes, and can be done while the baby sleeps.
If your child is older than about three and able to respond to simple instructions, we may utilize conditioned play audiometry to gain further information regarding hearing sensitivity.
Conditioned Play Audiometry (CPA): Conditioned play audiometry is a noninvasive way for us to playfully interact with your child and obtain more specific hearing threshold data. Your child will be trained to perform an activity each time a sound is heard, such as putting a block in a box or putting a ring on a cone.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our pediatric-friendly audiologists.