Audiologist Carrie pediatric hearing care guide

What Happens At A Pediatric Hearing Test?

07/14/2021 | Hearing Loss, Hearing Tests, Physician Resources

Are you a parent of a child who has difficulty hearing what you say to them?

Do they misinterpret what is being said to them?

Do they struggle in school, or do their teachers feel they do not follow instructions?

Is their language delayed?

Maybe your child has failed a school hearing screening.  It is time for a hearing evaluation for your child to see where their hearing level is at.

What To Expect During A Pediatric Hearing Test

The audiologist will ask you and your child some questions.

The audiologist will look in your child’s ears with an otoscope to see the ear canals and eardrums to ensure no ear wax or any other debris is blocking the way to test.

The audiologist will also perform a painless test called a tympanogram, which will measure how well your child’s eardrum works to ensure there isn’t any fluid or pressure behind it.

For the rest of the testing, your child will be in a quiet room; we like to call it a sound booth.

You can let your child know that the test isn’t painful, and they will wear a pair of headphones and listen to some sounds.

It is important to talk to your child ahead of time to let them know they need to pay close attention to the sounds and follow the audiologist’s instructions closely.

Pediatric hearing test appointment banner

If your child is under five years old, you might have your child try on a pair of headphones before the appointment so they can get used to the way they feel.

Two of the most common hearing tests for children are the pure-tone hearing test and speech audiometry testing. 

During a pure-tone hearing test, the child will hear a series of beeps in their ears, one ear at a time, and the child has to respond by raising their hand or finger even to the faintest tones they hear in a range of frequencies.

A speech audiometry test records the faintest level of words that the child can hear 50% of the time, and speech audiometry can also include speech recognition, which is understanding the clarity of words at a comfortable listening level.

Next Steps

After the exam is completed, the audiologist will have a better understanding of your child’s hearing ability and recommend an appropriate treatment plan or medical intervention.  

If a child has a wax buildup, the audiologist may take care of the problem in the office.

If the child has a suspected ear infection or another problem causing a temporary hearing loss, also called a conductive hearing loss, the audiologist will refer you to an otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat physician) to have the temporary hearing addressed and treated.

Some children have more permanent hearing loss, also called sensorineural hearing loss, in which medical intervention is not an option. 

At this point, the audiologist will speak with you about hearing devices and other listening devices to ensure your child can hear clearly again.  Hearing loss has a huge impact on speech and language development, as well as education and behavioral issues.

If you are concerned about your child’s hearing, please don’t wait to act.

Call an audiologist today to schedule a pediatric hearing test appointment.

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Carrie A. Landis Au.D

Dr. Landis is no stranger to the South coast. She brings a wealth of knowledge to Duncan Hearing Healthcare, having practiced audiology in the area for more than 18 years. She grew up in Fall River, Massachusetts where she attended school and graduated from B.M.C Durfee High School. Keen to extend her education, she received her B.S. in communicative disorders at Worcester State College and then continued on to receive her Master of Science degree at Southern Connecticut State University in 2002. After working in the South coast area for 10 years, she decided to go back to school and obtain her doctor of audiology (Au.D.) degree from A.T Still University/School of Health Sciences in 2012. She also holds a fellowship with the American Academy Audiology (AAA).

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