Hearing tests we perform
Each test checks child in different ways to build up a total picture of your child’s hearing loss. The tests used depend on your child’s stage of development and It is not always possible to get all the information in one session. It is important to remember that hearing is tested in very quiet conditions.
We use objective and /or behavioural tests.
Objective hearing tests
For these are tests child’s participation is not essential and they are mainly used to assess hearing levels in babies and are similar to the hearing tests carried out when a baby is first born as a part of the Newborn Hearing Screening Programme (NHSP).
Oto-acoustic emissions (OAE)
A small earphone is placed into the baby’s ear and sounds are played to the cochlea (hearing organ). The response from the cochlea is then picked up by the earphone and recorded on to a computer screen. This test alone does not give an indication of hearing levels but is used in combination with other hearing tests.
Auditory brainstem response (ABR)
This test is carried out when children are sleeping and in a relaxed and settled state. Audiologist cleans areas behind the ear and places sticky pads behind each ear and one on the upper forehead. Small earphones are placed into the ears so that different pitches of sounds can be played at different levels. This test allows us to see how well the ear is responding to sound.
This test tells us how well the eardrum is moving. A small ear tip is placed into the ear to check for any build-up of congestion behind the eardrum.
Behavioural hearing tests
Behavioural hearing tests involves the use of toys , rewards and listening games to gain more information about children’s hearing levels as they get older.
Visual reinforcement audiometry (VRA)
This test is and usually suitable for children aged from six months. They are seated in the centre of the sound treated room either on their own chair or, if they’re younger, on a parent or guardian’s lap. Different sounds are then played either through loudspeakers or small earphones or headphones. The child is taught to turn their head every time they hear a sound and to look for a flashing light or moving toy as a reward
This test involves Audiologist asking child to identify /repeat toys pictures or objects to determine quietest listening levels and child’s ability to discriminate different sounds
Pure tone audiometry (PTA)
Children aged between two and-a-half years to five years will be asked to listen to different sounds through headphones and play a game. For example they may be asked to move toy people into a toy boat or put different coloured blocks on to a stand every time they hear a sound through the headphones.
Older children from school age onwards may be asked to press button every time they hear a sound through the headphones.
An audiogram is a chart used to record hearing tests results