Early diagnosis and treatment of hearing problems in infants and children are important for their developing speech, language, and learning skills. For this reason we are proud to offer a complete range of Pediatric Hearing Evaluations, including:
Helps us to determine if there is a hearing loss (and to what severity), using traditional audiometric methods. Traditional audiometry is typically used for children 5 years and older.
Behavioral Observation Audiometry
Our doctor of audiology watches for simple behavioral changes in response to auditory signals in order to determine the presence or absence of hearing loss. Behavioral observation audiometry is typically used for infants and children ranging from birth to 2 years of age.
Visual Reinforcement Audiometry
Sounds are presented from speakers in the room and the child is coached to turn toward the source of the signal. When the child looks in the correct direction, he/she is rewarded with a lighted animated toy. Visual reinforcement audiometry is typically used for children from 1 to 2 1/2 years of age.
Conditioned Play Audiometry
This test is an engaging and effective way to obtain frequency-specific hearing thresholds from young children who aren’t quite old enough to participate using traditional audiometry. The audiologist and her assistant condition the child to play a game in response to the sounds that they are able to hear. Play audiometry is typically used for children from 3-5 years of age. In addition to these audiometric tests, we may also incorporate some of these tests in order to evaluate your child’s hearing abilities:
Evaluates the status of the middle ear, allowing us to determine how your child’s eardrum moves and whether or not fluid behind the eardrum could be a contributing factor in your child’s case.
Auditory Brainstem Response testing (ABR):
– This objective diagnostic tool is one of the first steps taken to helping us identify if a child has hearing loss and the degree. This test if frequently performed in the hospital after a child is first born as part of their newborn infant hearing screening program.
Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE):
– Two types of OAEs are available depending on your child’s needs: Transient Otoacoustic Emissions (TEOAEs) and Distortion Product Otoacoustic Emissions (DPOAEs.) Both types of OAEs measure cochlear hair cell function. These tests are excellent ways for our doctor to estimate hearing abilities without any active participation from the child.
Treatment Options for Hearing Loss
– We offer state of the art digital hearing instruments personally customized to meet your child’s unique listening needs. Children’s hearing aids come in a variety of vibrant colors and come with all the accessories needed to insure that your child’s hearing experience is a positive one. Informational booklets are provided for reference on proper care and feeding techniques.
Assistive listening devices (ALDs)
– ALDs offer additional assistance in order to maximize your child’s hearing abilities, especially in difficult listening situations. Amplified telephones, amplified headsets for listening on cell phones, television amplification systems and alerting devices are just a few that we are happy to demonstrate and offer.
– For children with profound hearing loss in both ears, cochlear implants may be the solution. Cochlear implants are a surgical solution that allows many patients to hear sounds and improve their communication when hearing aids are not powerful enough. We would be happy to provide you with a referral for a cochlear implantation specialist at your request.
– Although great strides have been made to customize hearing aids with precision, they cannot adequately increase the Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) to ensure speech understanding in all listening environments. Listening situations such as classrooms or auditoriums involve distance, reverberation, and noise. A child with hearing impairment is at a strong disadvantage in these environments. FM technology can significantly improve the desired input while reducing the surrounding noise. This technology can optimize your child’s language input maximizing their chances for normal speech and language development and improve their communication abilities. FM systems can help a child dramatically in a classroom or other noisy environment by obtaining input directly from the source while reducing unwanted background sounds.