Detecting Hearing Loss in Children (cont.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
In this Article
- Why test a child's hearing?
- What are the causes, risk factors, and signs of hearing loss in children?
- Who tests hearing in children?
- Can very young children have their hearing tested?
- How is hearing tested in an older infant or young child who cannot follow specific instructions?
- How can hearing be assessed in a child who is unable to cooperate?
- Are any additional tests done during a pediatric hearing evaluation?
- What happens when hearing loss is detected? What is the treatment for hearing loss in children?
- What is the latest test for diagnostic hearing testing in children?
- Determining Hearing Loss in Children At A Glance
- Find a local Pediatrician in your town
What is the latest hearing testing being used in children?
One of the newest tests being utilized is the auditory steady state response (ASSR) evaluation. This is a test that is used in conjunction with the ABR. It is completed while the child is sleeping, or sedated, and it makes recordings from the auditory nerve as the response travels up to the brainstem. The generators for this test are commonly accepted to be similar to those of the ABR. One advantage of ASSR is that the stimuli used to test the child's hearing are more frequency-specific, which allows the audiologist to predict hearing levels for a wide range of sounds with increased accuracy. In addition, the ASSR is faster and has the ability to test at levels somewhat louder than the ABR (due to equipment limitations of the ABR), making the distinction between severe and profound losses more clear. It should be noted, however, that results for a mild hearing loss and normal hearing are indistinguishable from each other, so there is potential for a misdiagnosis for children with mild hearing loss.
Determining Hearing Loss in Children At A Glance
- 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.
Last Editorial Review: 7/18/2008
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