Detecting Hearing Loss in Children

  • Author:
    Jillyen E. Kibby, MA, CCC-A

    Ms. Kibby received her master's degree in Audiology with honors from California State University, Long Beach, and is currently pursuing her doctorate at the University of Florida. She completed her clinical fellowship and spent seven years at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, where she trained for her pediatric specialty.

  • Author: David Perlstein, MD, MBA, FAAP
    David Perlstein, MD, MBA, FAAP

    Dr. Perlstein received his Medical Degree from the University of Cincinnati and then completed his internship and residency in pediatrics at The New York Hospital, Cornell medical Center in New York City. After serving an additional year as Chief Pediatric Resident, he worked as a private practitioner and then was appointed Director of Ambulatory Pediatrics at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx.

  • Medical Editor: James K. Bredenkamp, MD, FACS
    James K. Bredenkamp, MD, FACS

    James K. Bredenkamp, MD, FACS

    Dr. Bredenkamp recieved his medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. He then went on to serve a six year residency at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine in the department of Surgery.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Tips for Treating Ear Infections

Determining hearing loss in children facts

  • Children can be tested for hearing loss at any age.
  • There are several risk factors associated with hearing loss, including ear infections, prematurity, diseases, and syndromes.
  • Early identification of hearing loss will permit effective intervention, allowing for speech, language and cognitive development that are on target with a child's peers.
  • The ABR and the OAE evaluations are effective tests for infants and children who cannot cooperate for a traditional hearing evaluation.
  • Visual reinforcement audiometry and play audiometry are two behavioral methods used for testing cooperative children, which can obtain results similar to an adult evaluation.
  • A test of the middle-ear system should be included in a diagnostic hearing evaluation for all children.
  • When a hearing loss is detected, the child should be referred to an otolaryngologist or ENT to identify the cause of the loss. Further recommendations can be made by the ENT.

Myth

Accurate hearing testing cannot be done until a child reaches the age of 5 or 6.

Fact

Current technology now permits the accurate assessments of hearing in children starting within a few hours of birth. In fact, all states have mandates that testing of hearing be done in the newborn prior to discharge from the hospital.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/10/2015

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