The ability to test young children presents a unique set of challenges due to the child’s age and ability to understand how to respond to instructions. The majority of children will be evaluated through a combination of behavioural and physiological tests.
Over 3-years of age: This is demonstrated above by testing the child’s hearing while wearing headphones. When a child hears a tone, they put a marble in a marble race, press a computer key, or put a piece in a puzzle, just like pure tone audiometry.
Otoacoustic Emissions Tests
The otoacoustic emission test (OAE) assesses the function of hair cells in the inner ear. The sound produced within the normal cochlea of the ear in response to stimulation is referred to as an emission. OAE testing is used for a variety of purposes, including infant screening and screening of other special populations.
Tympanograms and Reflex Tests
Tympanograms measure the movement and flexibility of the tympanic membrane to identify whether it is moving normally.
Results may indicate a problem in the middle ear that can cause a conductive hearing loss. When a child has a normal tympanogram, it may also be possible to test for the presence of a muscle reflex – acoustic reflex – in the middle ear. The absence of this reflex to different sounds gives information about the functioning of the auditory system.
My Hearing Centre does not perform hearing tests on children under the age of 2.5 years.
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