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Paediactric Audiology is the study of hearing, balance, and related disorders in children and young people.

Medical staff refers children to Audiology to establish whether they have a hearing impairment that could impact communication and to monitor hearing levels when medication is given that can affect hearing.

Establishing the level and type of hearing loss is important when deciding between management options such as watchful waiting, surgery, hearing aids, and cochlear implants.

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Call this line if you have a query about your child’s stay in the hospital such as date of admission.

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Types of Hearing Tests

The tests we use to assess hearing depend on the child’s developmental age.

Children over 3 years of age will usually carry out a task when they hear a sound, for example putting a hoop on a stick.

When babies are above 7 months of age, their head turns to sound are used to assess hearing. The baby’s interest in the test sounds are reinforced by a toy being illuminated when they give a head turn to the sound.

We can also objectively detect responses to sound from the hearing system in 2 ways:

  • by placing a microphone in the ear, which can detect sound being emitted by a working inner ear (Otoacoustic Emission testing)
  • by placing sticky sensors on a child’s head when they are asleep (young babies e.g. following bacterial meningitis), or when they are under general anaesthetic (e.g. for children that are not developing speech), which can pick up changes in brainwave activity (Auditory Brainstem Response testing)

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For healthcare professionals

Please see the information below on referrals:

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