Hearing loss does not always mean you cannot hear at all or that the sounds are not loud enough. You may see that your child does not answer from a distance or that the words do not seem quite clear. Delays in language and speech development and educational progress may also be indications of hearing loss.
The effect of a hearing loss on a child is very much different from the impacts of hearing loss, which takes place in adulthood. Children basically use their hearing for learing about everything that is happening around them and develop the communication skills.
If you are concerned about the hearing ability of your child, then first call your general physician to check for ear infection or any other medical condition. When that is been ruled out, a paediatric hearing test shall be in order. There is no need for you to panic. But it is always better to have the hearing of your child assessed quickly so that they can get any support, which they need early on.
How is paediatric hearing test conducted?
The audiologist chooses the tests, which best suits your child’s ability, age and overall circumstances. But that usually involves a combination of physiological and behavioral tests. For example, with older children, audiologists generally conduct a hearing test and check the function of the middle ear to see whether ears are congested. The test is also done to see how clearly the child can understand the speech by listening to the words that comes through headphones. The audiologist always confirms the result when the test shows there is a hearing impairment. Retest is done by most of the audiologists to ensure that the results were consistent before dicing the course of action.
The common hearing tests for younger children include:
· Behavioral observation audiometry (BOA)
· Visual reinforcement orientation audiometry (VROA)
· Play audiometry
· Oto-acoustic emission testing (OAE)
· Brainstem evoked response audiometry (BERA)
· Electro-cochleography (ECochG or EcoG)
· Tympanometry and acoustic reflex