Diagnostic Hearing Tests for Children
(0 year to 4 years)
Do you have concerns that your child is not hearing well? Is your child slow to respond when called? Are you concerned about your child’s speech and language development? Although your child may have passed his/her hearing test at birth, some types of hereditary hearing loss are progressive and ear infections are very common in children of this age. The only way to know for sure if your child has a hearing problem is to get them tested by an Audiologist.
Your infant’s hearing is essential to their growth. If you are worried, a test at Affordable Hearing may be the answer.
At Affordable Hearing, the testing procedure is as follows:
- We will start by asking you to complete a case history. This provides the Audiologist with valuable information regarding problems your child has been having with his/her ears.
- Next, the outer ear is examined through otoscopy. An ear torch or surgical microscope is used in order for the Audiologist to inspect the ear canal and ear drum. The Audiologist is assessing wax, condition of the ear canal and the condition of the ear drum.
- The function of the middle ear is subsequently assessed using tympanometry. This is done by inserting a tip is into the ear canal and presenting a low pitch tone while a small amount of pressure is applied. This allows assessment of the mobility of the ear drum and the three small bones in the middle ear. Any issues with the middle ear will be observed in this test.
- Next, the function of the inner ear (up to the level of the outer hair cells of the cochlea) is assessed using otoacoustic emissions. A small probe tip is placed into your child’s ear and a series of sounds are presented. These sounds are played back very quietly and recorded by the otoacoustic emissions machine and give an indication of the function of the inner ear. A pass result is generally consistent with normal hearing or a mild hearing loss which would still allow for normal speech and language development.
- Your child will need to be able to sit still for a couple of mins (with breaks if required) and also be quiet. We recommend a morning appointment as children are normally more alert at this time.
The Audiologist will discuss the results with you and will send a full report to your doctor with recommendations for treatment, if indicated by the test results.
Diagnostic Hearing Tests for Children (over 4 years)
If you, or you child’s teacher, have any concerns about your child’s hearing, it is best to have their hearing tested by an Audiologist. Your child may have a history of middle ear infections, difficulty with speech and language (sometimes it can be just certain sounds), is struggling at school or doesn’t come when called. Finding the problem early can ensure treatment is faster and more effective.
The test procedure is as follows:
- Initially, we will ask you to complete a case history. This provides the Audiologist with valuable information regarding problems your child has been having with his/her ears.
- Next, the outer ear is examined through otoscopy. This involves use of an ear torch or surgical microscope which allows the Audiologist to inspect the ear canal and ear drum. This is used to assess the condition of the ear canal and ear drum, as well as the wax in the ear.
The function of the middle ear is subsequently assessed using tympanometry. A tip is inserted into the ear canal and a low pitch tone is presented while a small amount of pressure is applied. This is used to assess mobility of the ear drum and the three small bones related to it. Any issues in this area will be identified during this process.
- Next, Pure Tone Audiometry is performed*. Air conduction testing follows this process: a set of headphones are used or foam inserts are inserted into the ears and the Audiologist plays a series of tones at different pitches. Your child’s responses to the quietest pitches presented are recorded by the Audiologist on an audiogram. Next, bone conduction testing occurs to differentiate between outer/middle ear problems and inner ear problems. A bone vibrator will be placed on the mastoid bone (just behind the ear) and again your child’s responses to the quietest tones presented are recorded on the audiogram.
- Finally, Speech audiometry may be performed. Your child will hear a series of single words through the inserts/headphones and they will be required to repeat back the words he/she hears. This will give the Audiologist information that determines how well your child can hear speech.
Book a hearing test for your child today!
If you are worried about your child’s hearing abilities, come to Affordable Hearing for a test. Our Brisbane team are friendly and professional so you know your child is in safe hands. To book a hearing test for your child, call Affordable Hearing on 1300 658 742 or fill out the enquiry form to the right.
*Please note that this is a behavioural test which requires the cooperation of the child. Please call our office if you suspect your child may be difficult to test to discuss what your options are.