Hearing Loss in Children
Hearing loss can affect a child’s ability to develop communication, language, and social skills. The earlier children with hearing loss start getting services, the more likely they are to reach their full potential. Here are a few signs that may indicate your child needs to have their hearing checked.
Birth to 3 months old
Your baby should react to loud sounds.
4 to 6 months old
Your baby should babble in a speech-like way and use many different sounds.
7 months to 1 year old
Your baby should turn and look in the direction of sounds.
1 to 2 years old
Your toddler should follow simple commands (“Roll the ball”) and understand simple questions (“Where’s your shoe?”)
Testing of Our Pediatric Patients
Otoacoustics Emissions Testing
Otoacoustic emissions (OAE) screening allows hearing testing within the first days of life. Newborn screening is simple and painless, and could make a significant difference to a child’s future. OAE screening procedures for newborns and infants do not require the baby to respond. A miniature earphone and microphone are placed in the ear, sounds are played and a response is measured. The normal ear responds with an echo that is picked up by the microphone. When a baby has a hearing loss, no echo can be measured. OAE screening procedures can screen each ear individually. About 10 percent of babies do not pass the hospital OAE screening. This is likely due to a blockage of the ear canal with birth fluids or debris, fluid in the middle ear, or movement and/or crying during the test. Most babies will pass the follow-up hearing testing, however, it is very important to take your baby for follow-up testing. This is the only way to be sure that your baby is hearing. Newborns that do not pass the hospital screening are typically referred for a follow-up audiologic evaluation. If your child does not pass the follow-up hearing test, he or she may then be referred for more in-depth audiological and medical assessment by the time they are 3 months old. These assessments will verify the presence of hearing loss and help identify options for treatment. Important note: Please be aware that OAE is only a screening tool. It screens out higher pitched hearing losses and may miss a mild hearing loss or a reverse hearing loss.
Visual Reinforcement Audiometry
Once a child reaches the age of 6-7 months to 2+ years old, sounds are presented through a speaker or earphone. The child is trained to look toward the sound. When the child looks to the sound, he sees a moving toy or a flashing light. As children mature they may be asked to point to pictures in a book, body parts, i.e. eyes, ears, nose, fingers, or objects in the room. OAE testing may be utilized at this age if the child will tolerate the device in his ear for up to two minutes (the device is a small rubber tip and sometimes little ones just don’t want to still for 2 minutes!) If a child will not tolerate headphones, sounds can be played through loudspeakers, however, only the better ear is tested, and a hearing loss in one ear may be unidentified.
Hearing Aids for Infants and Children
Our passion is to help our patients to hear better. Advanced diagnostic examinations allow us to determine the best plan of action to improve your hearing.
OUR PROMISE TO YOU
You’ve been told that your child needs to have their hearing checked. This can be a scary time. We understand how you’re feeling and rest assured we’ll promise to answer all your questions and to make sure your visit with us is as stress-free as possible.
Schedule your hearing evaluation today.
8897 Mentor Ave
Mentor, OH 44050