Pediatric hearing evaluations in children
Pediatric Hearing Test
No child is too young to have his or her hearing tested! Our testing is customized for each child depending on a number of factors, including age and developmental level. Our staff includes some of the finest pediatric audiologists with experience testing children from birth to age 18. Infants who are identified with irreversible hearing loss can be evaluated and fitted for hearing aids. Follow-up evaluations and resource referrals are also provided. Although diagnosing hearing loss and fitting hearing aids in infants and toddlers can be challenging, our experience working with children of all ages and difficulties allows us to provide proper care.
Advanced Hearing Evaluations for Children
At Providence Speech and Hearing Center, we provide a full range of assessment techniques to evaluate hearing loss in infants and children of all ages. Our available tests include play and visual reinforcement audiometry, tympanometry, acoustic reflex, otoacoustic emission (OAE), auditory brainstem response (ABR), and central auditory processing disorder (CAPD).
Our children’s hearing evaluation uses varying tones to measure the degree of hearing loss. Our patients are evaluated in a sound-treated test booth by being presented speech and sounds through earphones or speakers. The type of test is determined by the child’s age and apparent ability. For young children, Providence Speech and Hearing Center uses visual reinforcement audiometry, which rewards head-turning responses with a lighted toy. We also utilize play audiometry, which conditions the child to respond to sounds with a play-task such as placing a block in a bucket after hearing tones.
Tympanometry and Acoustic Reflex
Middle-ear dysfunction can be measured and diagnosed using tympanometry and acoustic reflex testing at Providence Speech and Hearing Center. These tests can detect fluid in the middle ear, negative middle-ear pressure and disruption of the ossicles, tympanic membrane perforation, and otosclerosis. To perform these tests, we place a small probe in the ear canal. During tympanometry testing, the pressure is altered slightly, and during acoustic reflex testing, an internal response to sound is recorded.
Otoacoustic Emission (OAE)
The otoacoustic emission test is an automatic test used in the diagnosis of hearing loss in an infant or other patient who may not cooperate with routine testing. OAE uses a soft probe in the ear canal to measure the echo sounds emitting from within the ear.
Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR)
Auditory brainstem response testing is designed to assess the hearing thresholds of young children, as well as the functionality of the auditory neural pathway. We place small electrodes on each earlobe and one on the forehead and present sounds using small earphones. The electrodes pick up and record the brain’s response to the sounds and processes them onto a graph.
Central Auditory Processing Disorder (cAPD)
Children with an Auditory Processing Disorder, also known as Central Auditory Processing Disorder (cAPD), typically demonstrate all or some of the following behavior:
- have difficulty following more than one direction at a time;
- commonly ask “huh?” or “what” and often need information repeated;
- seem easily distracted or bored when conversations or activities do not include visual cues;
- become frustrated or upset by noisy environments and loud noises;
- are easily distracted in noisy situations, cannot tune out excess noise in supermarkets/restaurants;
- have poor memory for words and numbers;
- have difficulties with complex language such as word problems, riddles, jokes or a long story;
- struggle to hear the difference in similar sounding words;
- seems to daydream in class;
- struggle with basic language skills, such as reading and spelling.
If you notice any of these signs, your child may have APD. He/she will have more difficulty processing, remembering and expressing auditory information. Contact us for an evaluation and/or treatment. Our multi-disciplinary team of clinicians works personally with your child to overcome the listening and communication challenges impacting him/her at school and at home.
In partnership with St. Joseph Rehabilitation Hospital and CHOC Children’s Hospital, Providence Speech and Hearing Center offers an ABR clinic for those children who require sedation for accurate testing and diagnosis. This one-of-a-kind collaboration guarantees the highest quality service for your child.
Pediatric hearing aid evaluations and fittings
We offer the most state-of-the-art hearing aids from all major manufacturers. Our hearing aids are available in a variety of models, styles, sizes, colors, and prices. We advise on the pros and cons of the hearing aids we offer in order to maximize the effectiveness and contribute to the learning of speech, language, and academics.
Real Ear Measurement
Real Ear Measurement is a series of tests used for verification of hearing aid performance. Our computer will show how a patient’s hearing loss can improve with a hearing aid by showing overall volume and areas of amplification with and without the hearing aid.
Ongoing Hearing Aid Support
We continue to monitor the performance of our hearing aids and ear mold fittings with follow-up appointments to ensure that the patient receives the maximum benefit. As a child grows, he or she may require a more sensitive listening system for daycare or school settings. We also advocate for the family and patient as well as offer resources for schools and educators.
Ear Mold and Swimming Plug Fittings
In addition to our standard ear molds, we offer noise protectors and swim molds as well as models that can be customized for use with cell phones and iPods. All are available in a variety of colors, styles, and textures.
Hearing Aid Repair and Loaner Program
In the case of a problem with your hearing aid, we will loan you an instrument to be used for the duration of your devices’ service. This allows our patients to maintain their listening capabilities should any problem arise.
Assistive Listening Devices
In situations with a noisy environment or a need to enhance sound quality, viable alternative listening devices are available. In these cases, we currently make frequency modulated (FM) and Bluetooth systems ready as well as an infrared system available to our patients.