Hearing loss in Children
It is often difficult to pinpoint if your child has a hearing loss. Most childhood hearing losses tend to be fluctuating. Their hearing may be good one day, and bad the next. If you have concerns, it is important to have your child’s hearing assessed as soon as possible. Our Audiologists offer hearing assessments for children 5 years and older.
Have you noticed any of these signs in your child?
- Asking for repeats and saying “what?” a lot
- Answers questions wrongly or mishearing similar sounding words
- Needs to have the TV up loud
- Trouble hearing in noisy places eg. classroom, restaurants, play centres
- May be frustrated when there is a lot of background noise
- Frequent inattention, gets easily distracted
- Talks too loud
- Mispronounce words that other kids their age can pronounce easily
- A drop in their grades at school
- Complains of noises in the ears eg, ringing
- complains of sore ears
- Become increasingly withdrawn
- May act up in the classroom
- Blocked nose and sinuses
The signs of hearing loss in children is often the same seen as kids with autism, ADHD, and other learning disorders. It is important to rule out the possibility of a hearing loss in diagnosing these conditions. Contact us to book a hearing test for your child.
About five in 1000 Australian children have some form of hearing loss. Permanent hearing loss affects about 250-400 newborns each year. Thankfully, newborn hearing screening means that babies born with permanent hearing loss are generally detected early so their speech and language development can be supported.
Kids with temporary hearing losses are much more common. These can be caused by ear and sinus infections, and wax. Although children tend to “grow out” of these overtime, temporary hearing losses can cause major disruptions to a child’s learning. Temporary hearing loss caused by ear infections can also be chronic. Recurring ear infections can cause long term damage to the delicate structures in their ears. It is important to seek medical advice, and have your child’s hearing monitored if they suffer from ear infections often.
Ear wax is a common problem for may young children due to the small size of their ear canals. It is important to avoid using cotton buds on our child. Cotton buds can potentially push the wax further down the ear canal.
Our clinic provides gentle micro-suction to children eight years and older. As long as your child is happy to sit still, our audiologists will make the experience comfortable during the appointment.
Our Audiology Australia Accredited Audiologists are experienced with kids of all ages. We make the appointment fun and engaging. Kids are tested in our custom designed Sound Room for the most accurate results. The test room is bright and inviting, making it an interesting experience for your child.
For younger children, we test their hearing through play based audiometry. Our audiologists conduct the hearing tests by playing different games with your child to hold their interest.
Older children who can push a button in response to sounds will be tested in a more “grown-up” manner. Our audiologists are flexible in their approach to working with individual children. Our priority is to get the most accurate results that we can for your peace of mind.
Tympanometry is a useful test to check for fluid and pressure in little ears. We do this routinely for kids to monitor any infections or sinus problems. Many doctors appreciate tympanometry results. All children’s hearing tests are reported back to the child’s medical doctor. We recommend regular hearing monitoring for kids with chronic ear infections and sinus problems.
Central Auditory Processing Disorders
Central Auditory Processing Disorders (CAPD) refers to the immaturity of the parts of the brain that looks after hearing. CAPD is still not well understood as it tends to occur alongside other disorders associated with learning development.
CAPD testing is generally requested by a child’s doctor, speech pathologist or child psychologist.
Ability Hearing and Balance provides CAPD testing for children aged 5 to 12 years. The evaluations includes a full hearing test as hearing loss needs to be rules out prior to testing. CAPD tests may require several appointments depending on the individual child.
Our clinic also provides intensive Auditory Training using the Fast ForWord program for children struggling with literacy and reading. Our Audiologists can tailor a treatment plan to support your child. For kids with spatial processing disorders, classroom amplification with ear-level auditory processing aids can be supplied by our clinic.