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Pediatric Hearing & Balance

Pediatric Audiology Testing & Diagnosis

The audiologists at University Health are committed to finding the source of your child’s hearing loss. Hearing loss can be caused by issues with any of the three main parts of the ear: outer, middle and inner. 

Common Causes of Hearing Loss in Babies and Children

  • Certain medications 
  • Developmental abnormalities 
  • Ear infections
  • Genetics 
  • Illness 
  • Injury 
  • Noise exposure 

Hearing Tests

Hearing loss in children ranges from mild to severe, or total loss of hearing. We offer a variety of hearing tests that will help our doctors make a diagnosis and start your child’s treatment plan.

Tests We Offer

  • Auditory processing disorder evaluations 
  • Auditory brainstem response (ABR)
  • Newborn auditory screenings
  • Videonystagmography (VNG) and electronystagmography (ENG) for balance problems
  • VRA (Visual Reinforcement Audiometry)
  • CPA (Conditioned Play Audiometry)
  • Conventional Audiometry (for school-age children)
  • Immittance
  • Otoacoustic emissions
  • Speech testing (threshold and recognition)

Common Questions and Answers

Why did my child fail their newborn hearing screen and what does it mean? 

This is very common and usually due to fluid in the middle ears that is present shortly after birth. Children will frequently clear this fluid on their own and then their hearing will be normal. The most important thing is to have repeat testing (recommended before 3 months of age) to confirm this. 

Why does my child keep getting ear infections? 

Ear infections are very common in the pediatric population. This is due to immaturity of their eustachian tubes (the tube that drains fluid from the ear to the back of the nose). As children grow, their eustachian tube function improves and their rate of ear infections generally go down. 

Why does my child need ear tubes? 

Some children who have fluid in their middle ears may benefit from ear tubes. If your child has a lot of ear infections with fluid, fluid lasting longer than 3 months or fluid that is causing hearing loss, your child may benefit from ear tube placement.

I have been told my child has hearing loss. What are the next steps? 

Hearing loss is a very common problem. First we confirm the amount and type of hearing loss. Depending on the age of your child this may require a repeat hearing test awake in clinic, asleep at the audiology office or under sedation.

Once the amount and type of hearing loss has been determined we decide if further testing is needed (imaging or genetic testing) and the best way to rehabilitate the hearing (hearing aids or surgery).

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