PEDIATRIC HEARING TESTS
At Medical Audiology, we have the equipment and experience to test children’s hearing reliably, regardless of their age, developmental level or additional needs. Below is a list of techniques we apply. Please note that the actual technique we use will depend on the child’s developmental level, and we may use multiple techniques or adapt them for your child’s specific needs
This is a test of middle ear function and it takes several seconds to administer. A problem with the middle ear is a risk factor for a conductive hearing loss. Although the hearing loss can be transient, it can also persist or reoccur frequently. In such cases, medical intervention is indicated.
This is a technique for testing hearing in infants before they can show systematic responses to sounds (under 6 months). Experienced Audiologists observe the baby’s behavior for specific changes (e.g. stilling or eye-widening) in response to a range of sounds. This testing is usually done in a soundproof booth while you hold your baby in a comfortable position. The results are combined with advanced tests of ear function to provide a comprehensive insight into your baby’s hearing.
Visual Response Audiometry
For children aged from 6 months to 2.5 years, we use dancing puppets as highly rewarding visual stimuli to train and assess children’s reaction to sound. We explain the procedure and your role to you before seating you in a soundproof booth with your child. It is a very interactive and fun technique tailored to maximise interest and cooperation in this age group. The objective and analysis of responses are very serious however; our experienced Audiologists analyse the results for validity, repeatability and consistency to provide an accurate picture of your child’s hearing obtained through play.
For children aged from 2.5 years to 5 years, we use a ‘listening game’ test. In a soundproof booth, children are taught to perform a task in response to sounds heard through earphones. At Medical Audiology, we have multiple games available (building block towers, hammering, basketball and others), but the activities are only limited by the children’s and audiologists’ imaginations. This is a highly rewarding technique for young children, and when used by experienced Audiologists, it often provides a full range of reliable results, similar to adult testing.
This test assesses if components (outer hair cells) within the cochlea function within normal limits allowing for normal hearing sensitivity. This is an easy test that only takes a few minutes.
Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR)
ABR is an objective method to assess hearing sensitivity up to the level of the brainstem. The test provides information about the presence, type and degree of hearing loss. Because small electrical signals generated by the child are being monitored, the child must be still and/or asleep. This test can take from 30-60 minutes.
You do not need a referral
You do not need a referral for a hearing assessment. For most efficient outcomes, it is best to have available any previous test results and reports.
As trusted Audiologists, we work closely with GPs, Ear Nose and Throat Specialists and Neurologists to ensure your child receives the best care.