Hearing is a crucial sense that enables us to communicate, learn, and navigate the world around us. Whilst most babies have a hearing screening shortly after birth, hearing tests may be required as a child grows and develops. Temporary hearing problems are a common childhood condition and can impact speech and language development and social development and have medical implications also. Early detection and intervention are critical for children with of hearing loss in children is critical to allow appropriate treatment and / or early intervention.
True Hearing offers comprehensive hearing assessments for children from 8months of age. The type of testing can vary, and may involve a combination of approaches, but is usually based on the development age of the child.
Visual Reinforcement Audiometry (VRA) is a commonly used test for babies and toddlers in the 8months-2 ½ years age group. The testing process relies on behavioural conditioning to sound presentation with the use of animated toys as a visual reward. The major sounds of speech are tested at different intensities (or volumes) to provide an overall picture of hearing ability.
Play Audiometry is typically considered for young children from 3 years of age. A repetitive play task, such as placing a peg in a board when they hear a sound, is used to assess their hearing. Headphones (for individual ear testing) are encouraged at this age.
Older children typically perform pure tone audiology (PTA) which is the test of choice for adults. Sometimes minor modifications may be required, but all the important sounds of speech are tested to each ear separately whilst wearing headphones. Their responses to sound might be clapping, raising their hand or pressing a button.
Speech testing is used to assess a child’s ability to hear and understand speech and compliments other parts of the testing process. Various forms of speech testing can be considered depending on the child’s developmental age. The task might involve identifying the names of common objects or body parts, or repeating recorded speech material presented to ear separately under headphones.
Tympanometry is an automated test that measures the movement of the ear drum and provides information on the state of the middle ear. It is performed after a visual inspection of the ear using a special torch, called an otoscope. Tympanometry is a useful test for diagnosing common conditions such as eustachian tube dysfunction, middle ear fluid ( “glue ear” ) ear drum perforations, or to check that grommets are working. Tympanometry is performed as part of the routine assessment, except if clinically contraindicated.
Your child may have a hearing loss if they are always:
If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, or if you have concerns about their hearing generally, book for a comprehensive hearing assessment.
Hearing tests check a person’s ability to hear the loudness and pitch of sounds. Some reasons why you may need a hearing test include ringing in your ears, others companing that you talk too loud or watch the TV on high volume, or simply you have trouble hearing conversations.
While there’s no replacement for a consultation with a hearing-care expert, our free online hearing screening can provide some quick and useful feedback about your hearing. The screening should be carried out in quite space and all you need is a pair of headphones!
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