Your child’s auditory system might not be completely functional, and this is a critical finding that you need to have to ensure that they can hear properly. Proper hearing ability is necessary for their cognitive, social, and emotional development. Even signs of mild hearing loss are going to affect your child and hence they must go through the necessary testing. The screenings are normally painless and non-invasive, and here is what you can expect from these tests.
Hearing test for infants
Babies usually undergo one of the following tests. The Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) and the Auditory Brainstem Test (ABR). The OAE test uses very small microscopes that are placed in the infant’s ears. This helps in measuring the responses that the brain has when small sounds are played in their ears. The ABR tests use headphones instead. These are placed over the baby’s ears and the electrodes are placed on the head. The electrodes measure the hearing nerves of the baby as it responds to the played sounds.
What to expect?
During these tests, the babies are normally asleep. The more tired the baby is, the better will be the test results. During the test, the audiologist is going to clean the baby’s forehead and behind the ears. They might also ask you questions about the child’s health and the results will then be discussed.
Hearing test for children over six months
The older children are not required to sleep while the process is going on, though the results are easy to achieve if they are asleep. These kids undergo a bit more tests, which includes the Visual Reinforcement Audiometry (VRA) and Conditioning Play Audiometry (CPA). The VRA test watches the kids’ behaviours when they are exposed to various sounds. On the other hand, the CPA requires the kids to perform certain actions against the sounds that they are exposed to.
What to expect?
These tests generally take 20 to 40 minutes to complete. The rooms will normally be quiet and this enables accurate analysis. You and your child will be questioned about auditory health. The tests will ensure that the middle ear fluid of the child is fine and how well they are responding to speech.
The children’s hearing test also includes the usage of props and the results will determine if further testing is needed. You only need to make sure that you get your child tested from an experienced audiology centre.