When Does a Child Need a Hearing Test?
Hearing Tests Can Be Done for Very Young Children if Hearing Loss is Suspected
For the most part, people will generally associate hearing loss with the elderly. There is certainly sufficient evidence to support such a position, based on the absolute number of seniors who require the use of hearing aids in their daily lives.
Despite the qualitative nature of this assertion, hearing loss is not an age-related or age-specific concern. Young adults, teenagers, and, yes, children, can also experience some degree of hearing impairment. And while it is largely unexpected in children, impaired hearing can have a detrimental effect on their:
- Speech development
- Performance in school
- Behavioural development
- Participation in sports/clubs
- Participation in social activities
Therefore, it is particularly important for parents and educators to recognize the causes and/or signs of potential hearing loss in children and to encourage a hearing test as soon as possible in the event that some impairment is suspected. Indicators or reasons that should alert observers in this regard would include:
- Delayed speech/poor pronunciation
- Ear infections (frequent or recurring)
- Diseases such as measles, meningitis
- Inattentiveness/poor results in school
- Lack of response when called by name
- Questions/comments must be repeated
- Maternal illnesses during the pregnancy
- Premature birth and/or low birth weight
Despite pervasive opinion to the contrary, a hearing specialist can conduct a hearing test for children of a very young age or those who are unable to cooperate due to a medical condition or learning disability. There are essentially two types of hearing tests that can be performed for children in these circumstances, as follows:
Auditory Brainstem Response Evaluation (ABR)
- Measures how the brainstem responds to sounds
- Tests the hearing system from the ear to the brainstem
- Hearing specialist assesses loudness levels for a range of sounds
- Sounds include all that comprise a conventional hearing test for adults
Otoacoustic Emission Test (OAE)
- Measures the acoustic response produced by the inner ear
- Can be a standalone test (initial screening) or supplemental to an ABR
- Hearing specialist assesses which sounds yield a response and their strength
- Child passes if responses are produced for sounds critical to speech development
From an overall developmental perspective, when hearing impairment is suspected in a child, a formal diagnosis and treatment are paramount in both importance and urgency. In such cases, parents are encouraged to seek a professional assessment immediately; this can be accomplished by contacting a hearing specialist at Bravo Hearing Centre in Etobicoke.
Our Hearing Specialists Recognize the Intricacies of a Hearing Test for a Child
Audiometric testing, or a hearing test, is a painless and non-invasive evaluation of one’s ability to hear different sounds, pitches, or frequencies. This methodology is particularly important in circumstances when children are being tested in order to prevent them from becoming unnerved/fearful and to obtain a valid and actionable assessment as well.
The hearing specialists at Bravo Hearing Centre understand this intricate balance when a young child is being tested, and will make every effort to ensure the greatest comfort possible for both the child and the parents. Depending on the results of the hearing test, Bravo Hearing Centre can provide a number of additional audiometric services including:
- Hearing aid sales
- Hearing aid dispensing
- Patient counseling services
- Aural rehabilitation therapy
- Personal home or hospital visits
If you believe that your child may be experiencing some degree of hearing loss, call the hearing specialists at Bravo Hearing Centre today at 416-207-9711 to book a hearing test as quickly as time permits.