It’s almost that time of the year again for the kids to head back to school - and that means noise! Schools are filled with the sounds of packed hallways and classrooms, music practices and sporting events, but is your child able to hear them all okay?
Hearing loss in children is more common than you might think. About four in every 1,000 children at school entry level in Ireland have unilateral (in one ear) and bilateral (in both ears) mild to profound hearing loss. That means between 3,000 to 4,500 preschool and school age children in Ireland will have a permanent hearing impairment, with potential consequences for communication, literacy, social and emotional development, and later employability.
A child’s hearing is equally as important as their teeth and eyesight. Good hearing ensures your child can understand and communicate with the world around them, develop language skills, hear their teachers and keep up with their fellow classmates at school, as well as even hearing cars when crossing the road. In addition to this, International studies provide evidence that early detection of hearing loss accompanied by family centered intervention services will result in improved academic and social outcomes for hard of hearing children and their families. For these reasons, it is vitally important parents ensure their children are hearing all that they should be by getting their hearing tested.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY CHILD NEEDS A HEARING TEST?
If your child presents one or more of the following symptoms, they may have difficulty hearing:
- - You must raise your voice to catch the child’s attention
- - Frequent ear infections
- - Failure to startle at loud noises
- - Delayed speech and language development
- - They do not always respond when called
- - Displaying inattentive or withdrawn behaviour at school
- - Repeatedly asks for things to be repeated
- - Consistently turns one ear towards the source of noise
- - Appears to have selective hearing, for example not responding when their name is called
- - Child may appear to be clumsy as ear condition can cause balance problems
- - Turning the volume up louder than usual on devices
ASSESSING YOUR CHILD’S HEARING
If you are concerned that your child may have hearing difficulty or loss, you need to investigate the situation as quickly as possible. The best option is to book a hearing assessment for your child, with a Paediatric Diagnostic Audiologist.
It’s important to ensure that you are bringing your child to a trusted testing centre with top-of-the-range facilities. Not only will this make the experience easy on your little one, but you can also rest assured that you’re getting the most efficient consultation possible.
When choosing a paediatric audiologist for your child, consider the following:
- Do they offer the latest in treating technology and equipment?
- Are they qualified in paediatric audiology?
- Can they offer a child-friendly environment for testing?
WHAT TO EXPECT AT YOUR APPOINTMENT
Meet the Audiologist – An audiologist will talk to you about any worries or concerns that you have about your child’s hearing and their development. Prior to undertaking any tests an Audiologist should take the time to explain everything and reassure your child to avoid any anxiety.
Test – Audiologist will conduct a specifically designed age-appropriate hearing assessments to suit your child’s needs. With Audiology Medical Services, these appointments usually will last for about one hour.
Conclusion – Audiologist will discuss the results of the assessment with you at the end of the appointment. You will have the opportunity to ask questions. You should be supplied with an individual Diagnostic Management Plan & Resource Guide for your child so that you are well informed and counselled on the outcome of the audiological assessment. At this stage you should be advised of any future action plan that we may recommend for your child.
Once your child’s assessment has been booked, it’s best to do a little preparation in advance. Make a note of your concerns and any questions you may have in and at the appointment, share them with your child’s audiologist. After listening to your concerns, the audiologist will explain what is going to happen during the assessment in simple, easy-to-understand terms.
STATE-OF-THE-ART PAEDIATRIC EQUIPMENT & FACILITIES
Audiology Medical Services provide an expert, comprehensive child centered and family friendly diagnostic audiological assessment of infants, children and adolescents.
Many of our competitors’ test in normal adult assessment booths, which sometimes lead to less accurate results. We have invested significantly in state-of-the-art paediatric testing equipment to make sure every child has the most accurate assessment possible using the latest techniques. We believe that our children deserve no less.
As well as investing in our facilities we have also invested in our staff. We adhere to proven best practice protocols and quality assurance procedures. We have adopted UK standards (as they don’t exist in Ireland) allowing us to be independently audited. All our staff are clinically trained using the latest testing techniques and equipment.
Various diagnostic tests are carried out depending on the child’s age, auditory attention, and health status. Both behavioural and physiological tests are used in the audiological assessments for paediatric patients. Tests Include:
- - Video Otoscopy
- - Otoacoustic Emission (OAE’s)
- - Visual Response Audiometry
- - Speech Audiometry
- - Tympanometry
- - Play Audiometry
- - Pure Tone Audiometry
- - Advanced Brainstem Response (ABR)
We want to give you the confidence that your child will get the best advice with regards to their unique individual treatment pathway.
Audiology Medical Services
To make an appointment to talk to one of Audiology Medical Services’ clinically trained professional audiologists, available at clinics nationwide, freephone 1800 501 501.