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Pediatric Audiology Services: Ensuring the Best Care for Your Child with Hearing Issues

Discovering that your child has hearing issues can be a challenging and concerning experience for any parent. However, with the advancements in pediatric audiology, there are numerous services and treatments available to support your child’s hearing health and overall well-being.

Understanding the Unique Needs of Pediatric Patients

Pediatric audiology focuses on the assessment and treatment of hearing issues in children. Unlike adults, children’s hearing abilities are still developing, and any hearing issues can have a significant impact on their speech, language, social, and academic development.

Early Detection and Intervention

Early detection of hearing issues is crucial for optimal outcomes. Routine newborn hearing screenings are performed shortly after birth to identify infants at risk of hearing loss. Additionally, ongoing monitoring of hearing milestones during early childhood is essential.

Comprehensive Pediatric Hearing Assessments

Pediatric audiologists conduct comprehensive hearing assessments using a combination of objective and subjective tests. Objective tests, such as otoacoustic emissions (OAE) and auditory brainstem response (ABR), provide information about the function of the child’s inner ear and auditory nerve. Subjective tests, including behavioural observation audiometry (BOA) and visual reinforcement audiometry (VRA), involve evaluating a child’s response to sound stimuli.

In addition to pure-tone audiometry, pediatric audiologists employ additional diagnostic techniques and tools to assess different aspects of a child’s hearing. These may include tympanometry and acoustic reflex testing to evaluate middle ear function, speech and language assessments to assess speech and language development, and auditory processing evaluations to identify potential auditory processing disorders.

Hearing Aids for Children

Hearing aids are commonly recommended for children with hearing loss. Pediatric audiologists work closely with families to select appropriate hearing aids based on the child’s hearing needs, age, and lifestyle. They provide fitting and adjustment services and ensure ongoing monitoring to optimise hearing aid performance.

Cochlear Implants

Cochlear implants are devices that provide electrical stimulation to the auditory nerve, bypassing the damaged parts of the inner ear. Pediatric candidates for cochlear implants undergo a thorough evaluation process to determine their eligibility.

Assistive Listening Devices

Assistive listening devices are designed to enhance hearing abilities in specific situations. For children with hearing issues, ALDs can be beneficial in educational settings. These devices include personal FM systems, soundfield systems, and personal amplifiers. They work by reducing background noise and delivering amplified sound directly to the child’s ears, improving their ability to hear and understand speech in classrooms or other challenging listening environments.

Auditory-verbal Therapy

Auditory-verbal therapy is a specialised form of therapy that aims to develop listening and spoken language skills in children with hearing issues. It focuses on teaching children to maximise their residual hearing and use auditory information to understand and communicate effectively.

Finding Pediatric Audiologists

You can contact us to located a pediatric audiologist near you.

Preparing for Appointments

Before the appointment, gather relevant medical records, previous hearing test results, and any other relevant information about your child’s hearing history. This will help the pediatric audiologist gain a comprehensive understanding of your child’s condition and facilitate a more efficient evaluation and treatment process.

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