Children's Audiology Service
Children’s Audiology is here to test the hearing of all ages of children from birth through to school leaving age.
Children are offered an appointment because there is some concern regarding speech or hearing, or because they have had a hearing screening test in school and further testing is advisable.
We accept referrals from parents, doctors, health visitors, teachers, speech and language therapists.
Permanent childhood hearing loss is actually quite rare; around 1 to 2 babies in every 1000 are born with a hearing loss in one or both ears. Most babies have their hearing tested shortly after birth.
Temporary hearing problems are very common in childhood, and many factors can contribute including coughs, colds and ear infections. This is the type of problem most commonly found during the school hearing screening test.
What happens at the appointment?
When a child attends the Audiology Clinic they will have their ears examined and tests will be performed to determine their hearing level. The type of test depends on the age and ability of the child or young person.
From 6 months onwards: Visual Reinforcement Audiometry (VRA)
Sounds of different frequencies and loudness are played through speakers. When the child hears the sound, they will turn their head and a visual reward is activated, such as a toy lighting up. Little earphones can be used to test each ear separately.
From 2.5 years onwards: Play Audiometry
Sounds of different frequencies and loudness are played through earphones or headphones and the child is shown how to move a toy (e.g. man in a boat, peg in a board) each time they hear a sound.
From 5 years onwards: Pure Tone Audiometry
As the child gets older they are asked to respond by pressing a button when they hear sounds presented via headphones.
After the test:
The Audiologist (the person performing the test) will be able to explain the test results at the end of the appointment and can give you a copy of the results. You can then talk about any further appointments that may be needed.