Pediatric Audiology and Hearing Aid Specialist in Holmdel, Manahawkin & Neptune NJ
Normal hearing is crucial for age-appropriate speech, language, and learning development. Hearing loss in children can be due to a number of factors, some of which are temporary (middle ear fluid, excessive wax in the ear canal, etc.) and some of which are permanent. Regardless of whether the hearing loss is temporary or permanent, inconsistent hearing can negatively affect speech and language development. If you have any concerns regarding your child’s speech, language, or hearing abilities, you should have your child’s hearing tested. Early identification of a permanent hearing loss and fitting with appropriate amplification are critical to developing age-appropriate speech, language, and learning skills.
What should I expect at a Pediatric audiology appointment?
When you bring your child to a pediatric audiological evaluation, you will meet the audiologist, who will discuss all relevant case history. You may be asked about your pregnancy, including any complications, as well as whether your child needed a stay in the NICU. Other topics may include: history of ear infections, previously failed hearing tests, family history of early-onset hearing loss, and speech issues.
The audiologist will then examine your child’s ears, checking for excessive wax or fluid behind the eardrum. Pending unremarkable findings, testing will then be performed, which may vary in type and amount.
How can a hearing test be completed accurately on my child?
- For children 4 years and older conventional audiometry is used. This testing is essentially the testing that is used for adults. For conventional audiometry, your child will be required to respond to sounds through earphones or inserts by raising their hands or pressing a button. They may also be asked to repeat random words. As attention spans may vary, breaks may be needed. If your child is afraid of going into a testing booth alone, you may join them.
- For 2 to 4-year-olds, conditioned play audiometry (CPA) is often used. In order to record accurate information, yet keep things fun, children are asked to perform basic tasks such as stacking blocks or tossing toys into a bin to demonstrate that a sound was heard. Your child will be conditioned by the audiologist to perform the task to ensure consistency and accuracy. Parents are encouraged to join their children in the booth during this type of test.
- For children aged 6 months to 2 years, behavioral testing called visual reinforcement audiometry (VRA) is used. The child is conditioned or trained to look toward a toy in response to a sound presented by a speaker set up in the test booth. VRA is possible when the child can sit independently. However, most often, the child will sit on the parent’s lap during testing. Testing can be performed with or without earphones.
What other tests might my child have?
Tympanometry This test measures the movement of the eardrum and gives information about how the child’s middle ear is functioning. This is not a measurement of hearing, but rather one of middle ear function. Tympanometry is a quick measurement where a probe is inserted into the ear. Your child will feel a slight change in pressure, but it will not hurt. Findings will give the audiologist a better idea of whether fluid or congestion exists. A child may sit independently or on their parent’s lap for this test.
Otoacoustic emissions (OAE)- OAE test is used to find out how well the inner ear, or cochlea, works. To acquire results, your child will sit quietly with a small probe in their ear while a series of sounds are played. Measurements are recorded by the machine itself, without any interaction from your child. Findings will permit the audiologist to understand if your child may have hearing deficits at certain pitches in each ear.
Pediatric hearing loss
In the United States, all newborns receive a hearing screening before being discharged from the hospital. If your child does not pass the hearing screening, further diagnostic testing will need to be completed. This testing, known as an Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR), test will determine the presence, degree, and type of the hearing loss in each ear. Ideally, all babies that need to undergo further diagnostic testing will have it completed and identified by 3-6 months old. Currently, Coastal Ear, Nose, and Throat does not perform ABR testing. However, we will refer you to an appropriate provider.
Normal hearing is crucial for age-appropriate speech, language, and learning development. Hearing loss in children can be due to several factors, some of which are temporary (middle ear fluid, excessive wax in the ear canal, etc.) and some of which are permanent. Regardless of whether the hearing loss is temporary or permanent, abnormal hearing can negatively impact speech and language development. If you have any concerns regarding your child’s speech, language, or hearing abilities, you should have your child’s hearing tested. Early identification of a permanent hearing loss and fitting with appropriate amplification are critical to developing age-appropriate speech, language, and learning skills.
Services for children diagnosed with hearing loss
- Periodic and consistent hearing evaluations to monitor hearing sensitivity
- Hearing aid evaluations, hearing aid fittings, hearing aid verification and hearing aid repairs
- Coastal Ear, Nose, and Throat works in accordance with the State of New Jersey’s Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) program. If your child, up to age 22, is diagnosed with a hearing loss, your child will be registered with the state’s care program. This program will offer you and your child various services and benefits, including a caseworker and possible financial assistance for hearing aids. The New Jersey EHDI staff will work tirelessly to ensure that your child is able to achieve in school and other associated environments. For more information, please visit https://nj.gov/health/fhs/nbs/ehdi/.
Pediatric Hearing Aid Evaluations/Consultations
- After a permanent hearing loss is discovered and evaluated the audiologist will discuss different hearing aid recommendations in depth and answer any questions you may have about the diagnosis and treatment options to the best of their ability. This appointment is generally about an hour in length.
Pediatric Hearing Aid Fitting
Verification measures, also known as Real Measurements, are completed on every child who is fit with hearing aids. Verification measurements are completed to ensure that the child has access to speech. For older children, on ear real-ear measurements may be completed to ensure this is occurring. The patient’s audiologist will ensure the child’s hearing aid is programmed appropriately.
Coastal Ear, Nose and Throat proudly offers the Neptune, Manahawkin and Holmdel, New Jersey area pediatric hearing testing and treatment. Visit our Contact Us page for any questions or to request an appointment today!
Select a Topic Below:
- American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
- Bf4life-Hearing: An online community/blog for Deaf and hard-of-hearing teens and tweens
- Child’s Hearing Loss
- Children’s Hearing Health
- Dangerous Decibels: Information about noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus in children
- Ear Community: Community non-profit organization for individuals with atresia or microtia
- Infant Hearing Loss
- John Tracy Clinic: Provides parent-centered services for families of children with hearing loss
- My Baby’s Hearing: A website developed by the Boys Town National Research Hospital
- National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management developed by Utah State University: National resource center for implementation and improvement of Early Hearing Detection and Intervention systems
- The Necessity of Early Intervention in Hearing to Optimize Hearing Health
- Noise-Induced Hearing Loss in Children
- Pediatric Hearing Screening
- Success for Kids with Hearing loss: Resources for parents of children with hearing loss