Hearing loss can occur at any age, but it can be particularly detrimental in young children. During the first years of your child’s life, their brain is primed to learn to speak and understand language. However, if your child cannot hear, it can interfere with language acquisition and academic performance.
Pediatric hearing evaluations in Surprise, Arizona, can identify hearing loss early. Once we have diagnosed hearing loss in your child and identified its cause, we can recommend interventions. The earlier these begin, the more effective they are to prevent speech or language delays.
What Is the Difference Between Hearing Screenings and Hearing Tests?
Pediatric hearing evaluations include both screenings and tests. Hearing screenings are routine evaluations that your child should have periodically to check for signs of hearing loss. They are completed relatively quickly and assessed on a pass-fail basis. If your child passes routine screening, no further testing is usually needed.
If your child fails a hearing screening, it does not necessarily mean that they have hearing loss. However, they will have to have a more in-depth hearing test to confirm a diagnosis of hearing loss and determine its cause and severity.
When Should Your Child Have Hearing Evaluations?
Some causes of hearing loss are congenital, meaning that they are present from birth. Since early intervention is important to prevent any language delays, newborn babies typically have hearing evaluations before going home from the hospital. However, if your baby is born at home or in a birthing center, you may have to schedule the evaluation separately. This should occur between three and four weeks following the baby’s birth, and then again within three months if they don’t pass the first test.
Hearing loss can also develop in early childhood, so routine screenings are scheduled regularly throughout childhood. Children are typically screened annually from ages 4 to 6, then every two years until the age of 10. However, if your child shows any signs or symptoms of hearing loss, you should schedule them to have an evaluation right away.
What Are the Symptoms of Hearing Loss in Young Children?
Children with hearing loss exhibit different symptoms at different ages. Here are some developmental milestones your child should achieve during the first year of life that they may miss with hearing loss:
- Saying a few simple words, or at least imitating sounds, by 12 months
- Turning the head or eyes toward a sound by 6 months
- Reacting to a parents voice by 3 months
Babies of any age should react to sudden loud noises by jumping or startling. Missing any of these milestones means your child should have a hearing evaluation.
By the time your child is 15 months old, they should be able to articulate at least a few simple words intelligibly. If your child has not spoken at this age or is difficult to understand, it may be a sign of hearing loss. Some parents assume that a child is willful or contrary when they don’t pay attention or respond when called by name, but these are warning signs that you should have their hearing evaluated.
What Kinds of Hearing Evaluations Do Young Children Receive?
Older children can receive tests that require them to follow instructions. However, infants and toddlers may not cooperate with these types of tests and are given evaluations that do not need it. Some do not even require the children to be awake:
- Behavioral Audiometry Evaluation: This evaluation takes place in a playful setting and involves fun activities. It measures how a child responds to sound and tests all parts of the ear.
- Otoacoustic Emissions: This test involves placing a small probe into the child’s ear canal that sends pulsing sounds into the ear. The hair cells in the inner ear produce an echo response recorded by the probe and analyzed. This test is quick and can be performed when the child is asleep.
- Auditory Brainstem Response: While your child is sleeping, small electrodes that look like stickers are placed on their head to record brain function. Your child wears soft earphones that emit sounds, and the electrodes measure the brain’s response.
It is important to have an audiologist perform pediatric hearing evaluations in Surprise, Arizona. Our trained specialists can correctly administer the test and interpret the results to form an accurate diagnosis and suggest an appropriate treatment plan.
Audiology & Hearing Aids Surprise, Arizona
We love our happy North West Phoenix patients!
Happy Ears Hearing Center is proud to offer the widest range of Audiology services you will find in Arizona. We’re not only experts in the latest hearing aid devices, we provide treatment for tinnitus, cochlear implants, and bone anchored hearing aids. We have a family type bond with all our patients from the Surprise, Sun City Grand, Sun City West, Sun City, Festival and surrounding areas. We are looking forward to adding you and/or your loved one as a part of that family. Our Audiologists are experts in all of the latest hearing technology and have studied for many years to provide the highest quality Audiology services in hearing healthcare.
Happy Ears Hearing Center – Surprise, AZ
Fax: (623) 738-3913
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|Tuesday||9:00 AM - 5:00 PM|
|Wednesday||8:00 AM - 5:00 PM|
|Thursday||8:00 AM - 5:00 PM|
|Friday||8:00 AM - 2:30 PM|
Closed 12 pm - 1 pm for lunch