Hearing is one important way that we learn, adapt, and process the world around us. When you’re a child, this is an integral part of growing up. When your kids struggle to hear things, it can present a difficult obstacle in an already new and confusing world. Hearing loss in children can be difficult to notice without a professional assessment, so it often goes undiagnosed until regular development has already been hindered.

With a pediatric assessment at NYHD, our experienced Doctors of Audiology can accurately assess if your child has hearing loss. If so, we can help in identifying the causes and developing the path to help them hear better. We also work with your team of pediatricians, speech-language pathologists, pediatric otolaryngologists, child psychologists, and educational specialists. We know you want the best for your child, and we can help you through the right steps in what can seem like an overwhelming process.

What is a Pediatric Hearing Assessment?

A pediatric hearing assessment is a set of tests performed by a Doctor of Audiology that are designed to ensure we get accurate results from your child. Depending on their age and developmental level, some children aren’t able to properly express what they’re experiencing during standard hearing assessments. We understand this, and we spend a significant amount of time designing the way in which we test each child so we can keep them comfortable. This allows us to obtain accurate results from which our Doctors of Audiology can develop an appropriate plan of action for the different types of hearing loss that are common in children.

Congenital Hearing Loss

Congenital means ‘present from birth’, so this type of hearing loss means that the proper hearing mechanisms were never developed, usually for one of many different reasons. This can be because of different conditions experienced by the child or mother during pregnancy, or certain medications. There can also be genetic reasons for hearing loss. Sometimes, it’s not understood why congenital hearing loss happens.

Acquired Hearing Loss

This type of hearing loss occurs after birth for different reasons. This can be a symptom of certain diseases, illnesses, infections, injuries, medications, or damage from loud noises. It’s often permanent because of damage to the important structures of the ears.

Transient Hearing Loss

Also called fluctuating hearing loss, this is a temporary type of hearing loss that can happen because of things like middle ear infections. An ear infection is typically caused by nasal or sinus congestion which results in blockage of the Eustachian tube. This blockage is caused by fluid that develops because of a lack of aeration. If middle ear infections are not treated or reoccur too often, it can cause permanent damage to the middle ear.

Why are high frequency sounds typically the first to go in hearing loss?

High-frequency hearing loss is a condition where people have difficulty hearing sounds between the 2,000 to 8,000 Hertz range. This means that certain high-frequency verbal sounds like ‘s’, ‘h’, or ‘f’, (the consonants) are more…

Why is Pediatric Hearing Assessment Important?

Although the vast majority of newborns are screened for hearing loss (typically in the hospital prior to discharge), hearing loss is still one of the most common issues present at birth. For this reason, it’s important to partner with a Doctor of Audiology who can assess your child and recommend the right treatments. The reality is that untreated hearing loss in children can set back their development by years because they’re unable to hear and learn critical life skills such as language and social interactions. Sometimes, by the time the assessment has been made, the damage has been done. If you notice that your child doesn’t seem to be responding and learning the language as they should be, this is a sign that you should have them assessed for hearing loss sooner rather than later.

What signs should I look for?

There are many different signs to watch for, depending on your child’s age and stage of development. Generally, though, you should have your child assessed if you notice unresponsiveness to sounds, conversations, and language. Additionally, things like poor language comprehension or vocabulary can be signs of hearing loss. If they have trouble articulating words or acknowledging specific vocalizations, it means they may have trouble hearing unique sounds that make up conjugations and sentence structure. An abrupt decline in academics is also a reason to have your child tested for hearing loss because they may have difficulty keeping up in the classroom. Unfortunately, parents sometimes dismiss poor responsiveness or academic accomplishment as misbehavior, delaying important treatment for what may be hearing loss.

Pediatric Hearing Assessment FAQs

Can a child outgrow hearing loss?

The cause of hearing loss in children is unknown, and it is not recommended to allow the condition to go undiagnosed or untreated.

Do babies with hearing loss cry?

Hearing loss in infants can range in severity, and does not affect their ability to cry, nor is it directly linked to an increase in crying.

Can fire alarm hurt babies ears?

Exposing infants to noises louder than your average noisy kitchen appliances for extended periods can eventually lead to some hearing loss. A single event such as a fire alarm is likely not capable of causing permanent damage.

Can hearing loss be reversed in babies?

Depending on the type and severity of infant hearing loss, many treatment options are available to restore hearing, including hearing aids and cochlear implants.

Can I damage my babys hearing?

Yes, exposure to loud or extremely loud sounds for even a few minutes can cause permanent hearing loss in infants.

Do babies with hearing loss make noises?

Some studies suggest that babies with hearing loss make fewer sounds than children without, although it’s not uncommon for babies with hearing loss to still be vocal. For this reason, it’s important to have your baby tested for hearing loss.

Do deaf babies make sounds?

Deaf babies can still make normal sounds, leading many parents to not realize their child has hearing loss. Therefore your child’s ability to make noise should not be an indicator that their hearing is healthy and normal.

Do pediatricians check hearing?

Yes. Most newborn babies undergo a hearing test before they even leave the hospital, although your pediatrician can still check hearing ability later on. For more specialized testing or if hearing loss is present, your baby should see a Doctor of Audiology.

How can I test my babys hearing?

You can easily test your baby’s hearing by observing whether they respond to normal sounds at home or in noisy environments. If they don’t seem to respond, you should have them tested by a medical professional.

How can I test my childs hearing?

The most effective way to test your child’s hearing is with a pediatric hearing assessment. This can give you a complete picture of your child’s hearing ability and treatment options.

How do I know if my child has glue ear?

Some signs of glue ear include pressure or pain in the ear, problems with balance, and asking others to repeat themselves or speaking loudly.

How do I know if my child has hearing problems?

Common signs of hearing problems in children include moving one ear forward to listen, complaining that they cant hear out of one ear, and grades falling or teachers commenting that they have trouble listening.

How can I test my toddlers hearing?

The best way to test your toddlers hearing is to schedule an appointment with an audiologist.

How does hearing loss affect child development?

Hearing loss can contribute to delayed speech and language development, learning problems, and communication issues causing trouble making friends.

How long does a hearing test take for a toddler?

Hearing tests for toddlers usually take about 30 minutes.

What Can I Expect at NYHD?

During an assessment at our New York City office, our Doctors of Audiology can make sure you and your child are comfortable and understand the hearing test process. Slightly different than an adult hearing assessment, we can perform tests that are specific to children and their development. Firstly, we’ll discuss any symptoms you’ve noticed so that we can have a full understanding of what you’ve both been experiencing and what brought you to have a hearing assessment. This can also include discussing a complete medical history; yours, your family’s, and your child’s. With this information, we can tailor the right testing process to your child. A common test for infants is a visual reinforcement audiometry (VRA). During this test, we see how responsive your child is to sound played out of their field of vision. If your child is old enough, we can perform many of the same tests as an adult assessment. Our Doctors of Audiology love kids, so we can make sure your child is engaged and having fun during this process. Once we have your child’s hearing test results, we can discuss their best options for hearing aids and treatment going forward.

"Once at their office everyone was very cheerful and professional and thorough."

Schedule a Consultation

Hearing assessments are crucial to your child’s development if they show signs of hearing loss. At NYHD, we can help you achieve the best for your child and make sure they’re set up to succeed. For a quick and easy assessment of your child’s hearing ability, contact our New York City office by calling 212-774-1971 or filling out our online form. Our Doctors of Audiology can make sure your child can enjoy everything their new world has to offer.