The pediatric hearing specialists at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children use sophisticated testing and therapies. They use kid-friendly approaches to hold a child’s attention during testing and treatment. And, because we are a pediatric academic medical center, we use the latest advancements in hearing testing and treatment.
Our hearing specialists are experts at interpreting test results, making recommendations, and educating kids and their families. Our team of otolaryngologists (ear, nose and throat doctors, or ENTs), audiologists, speech-language therapists, and others focus on all areas of hearing and balance problems.
Our comprehensive pediatric audiology care
Most newborns have their hearing tested soon after birth, and hearing tests are a regular part of well-child care. But sometimes some symptoms can signal a hearing or ear condition, such as academic difficulties in school or problems communicating. You should let your pediatrician know if you notice these signs.
We use a variety of approaches to find and treat hearing problems, including:
- Newborn hearing testing. These tests measure an infant’s response to clicks or tones played through earphones (called diagnostic brainstem auditory evoked response or BAER testing) or a tiny probe in their ear (otoacoustic emissions testing).
- Conventional audiometry testing. These exams, used for children 5 and older, use earphones or speakers to play different sounds. When a child hears a sound, they raise their hand or press a button.
- Visual reinforcement audiometry. When a child is too young or developmentally unable to tell us what they hear, this test shows them how.
- Conditioned play audiometry. Similar to visual reinforcement audiometry, this test is for kids who cannot tell us when they hear something. We use games — such as having them drop blocks into a box or put a ring on a cone — to show us when they hear something.
- Tympanometry and acoustic reflex testing. These tests use a probe inside the ear that plays loud sounds. Tympanometry looks for fluid, an infection, an injury, or another problem that can cause hearing loss. Acoustic reflex testing measures a muscle that tightens with loud sounds.
- Auditory processing evaluations. This test, used for children 5 and older, screens for auditory processing disorder (APP). We play a variety of sounds in a soundproof room, and the child lets us know when they hear something.
- Vestibular (balance) evaluation. These tests help us find inner ear conditions, which cause balance problems
- Cochlear implants. These devices can restore hearing in children with severe hearing loss or deafness. A receiver implanted inside your child’s ear picks up sound from a device worn behind their ear. A therapist teaches your child how to translate the sounds into language.
- Hearing aid. These devices can change sounds and make them louder. There are many different types — some are worn behind or inside the ear, and others are surgically implanted, such as bone-anchored hearing aids (BAHA).
Why Choose Us for Hearing Services?
We offer a full range of hearing tests and therapies to treat kids with all levels of hearing problems. Parents choose us for our:
- Early detection of hearing disorders. We can find hearing problems at the earliest stages. This means your child keeps moving forward in their development — in learning, communicating, and interacting with others.
- Personalized treatments. Our specialists draw from a full range of therapies to give your child the best results. From speech-language therapy to surgically implanted devices, such as cochlear implants, we offer complete care.
- Comprehensive, team approach. Our team of ENT doctors, audiologists, speech-language therapists, child development specialists, and others work together to meet your child’s needs.
- Family-friendly care. We make sure families get the support they need. Whether it is teaching parents how hearing devices work or working with schools to make sure your child has what they need in the classroom, we are here to support you.