Hearing Care for Infants and Children

Speech, learning, or behavioral difficulties often serve as the initial signs of a potential hearing problem in children. These issues arise when a child experiences hearing impairment. Pediatric audiologists specialize in diagnosing and treating speech and hearing disorders.

What is Pediatric Audiology?

Pediatric audiology is a branch of healthcare dedicated to addressing hearing problems and sound recognition issues in infants and young children. It encompasses diagnostic and rehabilitation services that aim to identify and treat the type and severity of hearing loss. Early identification of hearing problems is crucial for normal speech, language, and social development in children.

Who is a Pediatric Audiologist?

A pediatric audiologist is a specialized healthcare professional who works with pediatric patients facing hearing, balance, or speech deficits. They possess the expertise to conduct various tests to identify the problem and determine the most appropriate treatment approach.

What Services Do Pediatric Audiologists Provide?

The services provided by a pediatric audiologist depend on the specific condition, symptoms, and age of the patient. The hearing specialist conducts hearing tests to assess the type and degree of the child's hearing deficit. These tests may include behavioral tone testing, speech testing, middle ear function testing, and electrophysiological testing like auditory brainstem response (ABR). After the examination and diagnosis, the pediatric audiologist works to find the most suitable treatment method for the child. This may involve the use of hearing aids or therapy to address specific hearing issues, such as sensory hearing conditions.

Indicators of Hearing Loss in Children:

  • Speech and language delays
  • Listening to TV or music at loud volumes
  • Speaking loudly
  • Frequently asking for repetitions
  • Attention problems
  • Responding only when face-to-face
  • Delayed reaction when spoken to
  • Lack of response when called upon
  • Difficulty following directions

What to Expect at a Pediatric Audiology Appointment?

During a pediatric audiology appointment, you will be asked to describe any concerns you have regarding the child's hearing, speech, language, or balance. Feel free to ask questions to gather the necessary information. The audiologist will discuss the testing methods used to evaluate and diagnose the problem, which may occur on the same day or be scheduled for a later appointment. After conducting the tests, the pediatric audiologist will inform you of the identified issues and recommend the appropriate treatment. They will also provide information about the hearing deficit, including insights into its causes and the success rate of available treatment options.