Though most often associated with the elderly, hearing loss can occur at any age, including childhood or even infancy. If your child has been exhibiting strange behavioral or speech issues, then it may be a sign that he or she is suffering from a hearing disorder. Thankfully, Gainesville Hearing Services has a full-time doctor of audiology with a specialty in pediatric audiology. Don’t let your child’s hearing wait another minute. Call to schedule a pediatric hearing evaluation at our Gainesville office today.
Pediatric Hearing Loss Symptoms
Hearing loss can be difficult to detect in children, especially those too young to speak, but there are several common symptoms that can indicate hearing issues. Call Gainesville Hearing Services immediately if your child:
- Speaks much louder than normal
- Does not respond when called
- Only reacts to conversation face-to-face
- Has trouble paying attention
- Has difficulty following directions
- Has a delayed reaction when answering
Pediatric Audiology Services
Our resident pediatric audiologist Dr. Schorn-Bellows provides a variety of hearing services and screenings aimed specifically at children and infants. These services include:
- Evaluating hearing loss using state-of-the-art equipment
- Prescribing and designing custom hearing aids
- Diagnosing ear malformations
- Detecting foreign objects within the ear canal
- Referring you to ENTs and/or speech pathologists
Detecting Pediatric Hearing Loss
Hearing tests for infants, toddlers, and children operate a bit differently than adult tests. For infants, we use an auditory brainstem response test (ABR) and an otoacoustic emissions testing (OAE) to test auditory response. The ABR works by measuring brainwave response to a variety of pitches and sounds, while the OAE delivers a small sound into the ear and measures its echo off the cochlea. These measurements require placing electrodes on the infant’s head, but both tests are completely safe and designed to disturb your child as little as possible.
For toddlers and preschool-age children, we perform subjective hearing tests using Visual Reinforcement Audiometry (VRA) for and Conditioned Play Audiometry (CPA). VRA, which is used for children between seven months and three years of age, takes place in a sound-resistant booth. This test prompts the patient to turn his/her head in response to a sound played through a speaker; this reaction is reinforced by the presentation of a toy. CPA, which is used with children three to five years old, also involves a sound booth, though in this case the sound prompts may be delivered via headphones. When the sound plays, the child responds by playing a game where he or she throws a toy in a bucket or places a peg in a board.
Past age five, children can generally be tested using traditional adult audiometry methods.
What To Expect As A Parent
Determining if your child has hearing loss is a difficult time for any parent, so Gainesville Hearing Services wants to make sure you are both as comfortable as possible. If you have any questions about the tests, Dr. Schorn-Bellows will be happy to answer them and guide you through all the possible treatment options. Keep in mind that, in many cases, pediatric hearing loss is not permanent and can be improved or even corrected with hearing aids, cochlear implants, or other procedures. Our staff will be happy to talk you through all possible options so that you know your child will receive only the best possible treatment.
Watching your child struggle with his or her hearing is hard for parents, but Gainesville Hearing Services is here to help. With decades of experience, our doctor of audiology has the equipments and training to help children of all ages and levels of hearing loss. Give your child the hearing they deserve–call Gainesville Hearing Services to schedule a pediatric audiology appointment today.