You’ve been told that your child needs to have their hearing checked. This can be a scary time especially when your baby is just a few days old. We understand how you’re feeling and rest assured we’ll promise to answer all your questions and to make sure your visit with us is as stress free as possible.
Regardless of your child’s age, there are safe, effective and accurate tests that can be used to determine how well your child hears.
Infants and Toddlers
Visual Reinforcement Audiometry (VRA)
Once a child reaches the age of 6-7 months to 2+ years old, sounds are presented through a speaker or earphone. The child is trained to look toward the sound. When the child looks to the sound, he sees a moving toy or a flashing light.
As children mature they may be asked to point to pictures in a book, body parts, i.e. eyes, ears, nose, fingers, or objects in the room.
OAE testing may be utilized at this age if the child will tolerate the device in his ear for up to two minutes (the device is a small rubber tip and sometimes little ones just don’t want to still for 2 minutes!)
If a child will not tolerate headphones, sounds can be played through loudspeakers, however, only the better ear is tested, and a hearing loss in one ear may be unidentified.
Ages 3 – 4
At three to four years old the child can usually respond to a sound by placing a block in a bucket, pegs in a board, etc. With earphones on or in both ears, the child is taught to wait, listen, and respond.
Ages 5 and up
Most children once they reach the age of 5 can be tested using the same methods used with adults.
The identification and diagnostic process is closely linked with a comprehensive program of early intervention, insuring the availability of important auditory information during the early, critical years of hearing development.