6 Blackstone Valley Place, Suite 307
Lincoln, RI 02865 Building #3
(401) 475-6116

Discover if Hearing Loss is Affecting You. Complete Our Helpful Online Hearing Loss Survey.

Start Hearing Survey

Taking Your Child to the Audiologist

a pediatric audiologist administering services

There's a lot of things in life that you may take for granted. Hearing is one of them, and when it becomes impaired, it can be challenging to adjust. If you find yourself in this situation with your child, the best thing to do is consult an audiologist to see what type of hearing aid might suit them best. 

Tests to Expect

There are several tests that your child will have to complete at the audiologist. Some of these are typically completed by a parent or caregiver, while others may occur during an appointment without you being present. The following is a list of some standard tests:

Audiometry a test of hearing sensitivity and discrimination ability. It measures both air conduction and bone conduction, as well as the more sophisticated brain stem auditory evoked potentials (BAEP). The audiologist will also be testing your child's responses to click stimuli over different frequencies. 

Tympanometry this measures the movement and stiffness of the eardrum by placing a probe into your child's ear canal, which will produce sound at various frequencies. It also tests middle ear function, including whether fluid is present in the middle ear space or not.

Acoustic reflexes this test shows how your child's middle and inner ear function by measuring their responses to loud clicking sounds. It can also help determine if there may be any brain involvement.

Otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) these are inaudible sounds produced by the inner ear that can be measured with sensitive equipment. They provide information about how well your child's cochlea is functioning, and they are used to verify test results from other tests such as audiometry or tympanometry.

Speech audiometry this tests your child's ability to hear speech sounds, including consonants and some vowels. It also measures how well they can understand words in quiet or noisy backgrounds.

Word recognition test these are more advanced hearing tests that provide additional information about the degree of hearing loss your child may have. They measure your child's ability to hear and recognize specific speech sounds. 

How to Make Them Calm and Unafraid

The first thing you need to do for your child is to ensure they can tell you what they are feeling. Once you have asked them, set the stage for their visit by talking about how fun it will be. Play games with them beforehand – anything that gets their mind off why they are there in the first place. Find out what activities they like to do. Visit the office ahead of time and introduce them to all the staff that will be helping get your child ready for their hearing test.

Questions to Ask

You can ask about the audiologist’s credentials and training. You can ask them about how often they see kids experiencing hearing loss. Most audiologists have a special interest in children, which makes sense since this area is so new to them compared to adults.

You should also ask about the cost of treatment and what you can expect to pay. Audiologists usually send a bill for their services directly, but sometimes insurance companies can make the payments. Asking these questions will help you feel more at ease with the entire process.

Treatment Options

There are many kinds of treatment options for hearing loss. The type that is the best fit will depend on a range of factors, including age and level of hearing, cognitive development and personality characteristics. Unfortunately, there isn't enough evidence to make specific recommendations about what type of therapy children should receive based on their diagnosis or degree or type of deafness.

The first is to provide amplification through a hearing aid. A hearing aid amplifies sound and makes it easier for the child to hear what's going on around them. Hearing aids are typically advisable when children have some residual or unaided hearing ability but not enough to use it effectively in their daily lives. The best type of hearing aid for each child relies on their specific types and degree or level of deafness.

The second is to teach the child how to read lips, which involves training them in speech reading. Speechreading uses lip patterns, facial expressions and body language, along with listening skills, to help people understand what others are saying.

The first time you go to the audiologist can be a little tough for kids, but they should be fine after that. If your child is already showing signs of hearing loss at home, it’s essential to get them checked sooner rather than later so the problem doesn’t worsen. 

Call us today at 401-475-6116 to learn more about the Hear for You Hearing & Balance Center.