Our Audiologists provide comprehensive hearing tests for babies and children in our Cork based hearing clinic. Children’s hearing tests can take up to one hour. The test involves two Audiologists taking a detailed patient history, subjective testing, objective testing and a follow up written report for your child’s medical records.

If you have been referred to us by your GP, Speech and Language Therapist or ENT Consultant, we will liaise with them before hand to familiarise ourselves with your child’s history if necessary. Following the appointment, we will send copies of our reports to them (and you). 

The types of tests we perform during the appointment are outlined below. 

Type of Hearing Test: Visual Reinforcement Audiometry (VRA).
Suitable For: Babies and young children. 7 months of age to approx. 2.5 years.
About this Hearing Test:

  • A reliable and standardised testing procedure.
  • Used to assess the hearing threshold levels of children.
  • Involves a procedure whereby your child is ‘conditioned’ to associate the test tones with a visual reward such as a toy which lights up.
  • In this way your child’s response to the test tone is reinforced each time, allowing reliable hearing threshold results to be obtained across a range of audiometric frequencies.

Type of Hearing Test: Play Audiometry.
Suitable For: Young children 2.5 years to 5 years.
About This Hearing Test:

  • Your child responds to the test tones through play rather than pressing a button as an older child or adult would.
  • Both VRA and Play/ Performance Audiometry can be carried out using either insert earphones, where ear specific results are obtained, or by using sound field speakers (often used in younger children who will not tolerate insert earphones or headphones).

Type of Hearing Test: Oto-acoustic Emissions (OAE) Testing.
Suitable From: Birth to age 3.
About This Hearing Test:

  • This tests inserts a probe into the ear, puts a sound in your ear and measures the sounds that come back. 
  • It is essentially looking at how well, if at all, the hair cells in your inner ear are working. 
  • If you’ve had a baby, your newborn will have had this test during their newborn hearing screen.
  • This test determines how well the nerve in the inner ear, the cochlea is working. 
  • OAEs are responses generated by the cochlea in response to an acoustic stimuli.
  • The presence of OAEs to a satisfactory level indicates that the cochlea is functioning well.
  • If OAEs are absent or ’not recordable’ this indicates that there may defective cochlear function.

The recording of OAEs is strongly affected by non-cochlear factors such as excessive wax or middle ear effusion, which will preclude the recording of a response.

Type of Hearing Test: Speech Discrimination Testing.
Suitable From: 5 years plus.
About This Hearing Test:

  • Used to assess your child’s ability to hear speech.
  • Carried out using recorded standardised test materials presented via headphones/ speaker at a calibrated level.
  • The patient is asked to repeat back the words they hear and their responses are scored.
  • Useful as a prediction of hearing aid benefit, in cases of suspected non- organic hearing loss, and as an indicator of possible retro cochlear problems.

Type of Hearing Test: Tympanometry
Suitable From: Birth onwards
About This Test:

  • Used to assess middle ear function in both children and adults.
  • Does not require your child to do anything other than sit still and allow us to place a soft tip in their ear
  • This test can be done at any age.
  • Tympanometry does not measure true hearing but it can indicate whether there is any fluid in the middle ear which is preventing the eardrum from moving correctly.

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