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Does my child need a hearing test?

Do you have any of the following concerns:

  • I feel my child doesn’t always respond when called or talked to.
  • My child has had severe earaches and/or several ear infections.
  • I feel my child’s speech isn’t progressing.
  • My child asks for things to be repeated or mishears what is being said.
  • School or nursery has mentioned they feel he/she isn’t hearing as well.
  • My child sits very close to the television and has to have the volume raised.
  • I have to get their attention before I ask a question
  • If I call my child from another room they don’t seem to hear me
  • I’ve had a letter from school saying that my child has failed a hearing test.
  • Any other parental concerns (a hearing loss can affect not only speech and language development, but other areas of development as well.)

What to do next…

You need to make an appointment with your GP and explain the problems your child is experiencing. Your GP will check their ears for wax and if they feel it necessary will send a referral requesting a formal hearing assessment.

If referred to the hospital your child will be seen within two weeks of us receiving the referral. They will have a diagnostic hearing assessment in a sound proof room carried out by fully qualified audiologists. We can test your child in a variety of ways which will be age appropriate.

If your child needs onward referral to the Ear, Nose and Throat department to see a consultant for further investigation, we will arrange this for you.

To learn more about Universal Neonatal Screening.

In some cases, children do need a hearing aid(s), either as an interim measure until a hearing problem can be resolved or as a more long standing solution if the loss is permanent.

If the fitting of a hearing aid is required, a child will be referred to an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist.

If a hearing aid is indicated, an impression will be taken of the ear(s). A soft sponge will be placed into the ear canal, followed by a putty like material to obtain the shape of the ear. This will be forwarded to be manufactured and an appointment will be mutually arranged for the aid to be fitted within three weeks. Children are able to choose from a selection of colours for the ear mould and the hearing aid.

When the aid is fitted, a senior audiologist will spend time with the parent/guardian and the child themselves explaining all about the hearing aid, how to get used to it, how to work it and how to insert it, amongst other information. A follow up appointment will be booked before you leave the fitting appointment and regular hearing tests will be scheduled.

With family consent we can also refer on to the Integrated Specialist Support Services. This is a body of teachers, who are trained in working with children of all ages with a hearing impairment. They can visit the child at school or home, depending on the age, to see how they are managing with the hearing aid in their everyday environment. They also provide help and support for the parents.