When a child fails a hearing screening, whether it is at the hospital at birth, at a physician’s office, or at a school hearing screening, he or she should be re-evaluated for possible hearing loss. Audiologists use a variety of specialized tests to help in the diagnosis of hearing loss, depending on the child’s age.
Following a failed hearing screening at birth, the infant is first evaluated by Otoacoustic Emissions (OAEs), a test of the sensory cells in the inner ear. If the infant does not pass this test, he or she returns for a more specialized test, the Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR). The ABR helps the audiologist determine the type, degree, and configuration of any hearing loss that might be present.
Both of these tests require no response from the infant. Testing can only be completed if the child is still and quiet; therefore, it is best if the infant arrives sleepy.
Children ages six months or older who have failed a hearing screening in the physician’s office or at school are further tested using age-appropriate testing in the soundbooth and tympanometry, a measure of middle ear status. If needed, the child is further evaluated using otoacoustic emissions or auditory brainstem response.
Of course, if a hearing loss is diagnosed, we have the medical background to determine the cause and the appropriate therapy. In most cases, a failed hearing screening is caused by wax obstructing the ear canal or fluid in the middle ear. These are often resolved on the day of your appointment. In other cases, imaging studies or blood testing is indicated. An independent audiologist would have to send you back to your pediatrician or to an otologist for this workup. Our center offers comprehensive care under one roof-with physicians and audiologists that facilitates convenient thorough and economical care.
We offer the most comprehensive selection of hearing aids in the East Valley. We are contracted with most insurance companies as a medical facility, with contracted rates for medical and hearing services. Our audiologists are experts at fitting hearing aids. For more details, please see our section on hearing aids and why you should obtain your hearing aids from our center.
We are the only cochlear implant center in the East Valley. For more information, please see the cochlear implants section.
Our Center offers a complete line of vestibular and balance testing associated with inner ear problems. We have the latest equipment to thoroughly test your inner ear function. If the problem is associated with the inner ear, it will be treated by the physician or the audiologists.