Why parents book our private children’s hearing test
Prompt service delivery
Pressure on the NHS has meant significantly longer waiting times for crucial services like paediatric audiology. Hearing is essential to your child’s speech and language development. Understandably, parents want to know their child’s hearing status as quickly as possible. At Verified Hearing, we would typically see your child for a hearing test within 24-72 hours of initial contact.
Comprehensive ear care
Comprehensive service including children ear wax removal. The last thing you want to hear after waiting so long for your child’s hearing test is “sorry they have ear wax so we can’t do the hearing test. Use olive oil and return in 3 months”. We do not do that. If your child has ear wax, we remove the wax on the day of the appointment and proceed with the hearing test.
Specialist Paediatric Audiologists
We employ some of the most talented private paediatric audiologists in the UK who just love working with children.
Signs of Hearing Loss in Children
Your child may have a hearing loss if they are always:
- speaking loudly
- experiencing speech delay or mispronouncing words
- asking people to repeat what they say
- asking for the TV or music to be turned up loud
- struggling to hear people far away
- easily distracted when people are talking
- tired and irritable because it’s harder to listen
Is your child experiencing any of these symptoms? Book them in for a comprehensive hearing assessment.
Hearing Tests for Children
Hearing is a crucial sense that enables us to communicate, learn, and navigate the world around us. Children with hearing loss can face significant developmental delays, so early detection and intervention are essential. Depending on your child’s age, we would perform a different kind of hearing test. We would typically see children who are 2.5 years and older. Below is a description of the test we would perform based on your child’s developmental age:
Play audiometry is a hearing test that’s typically used for children 2.5 years and older. It’s a fun and interactive way to test a child’s hearing ability, using toys and other objects to encourage them to respond to sounds they hear.
During the test, the child wears headphones and sits on their caregiver’s lap. Our paediatric audiologist will play sounds at different frequencies and volumes through the headphones. When the child hears a sound, they’re encouraged to respond in some way, such as placing a toy in a bucket or pressing a button. The audiologist will then record the child’s responses and use them to assess their hearing ability.
Play audiometry can take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the child’s age and attention span. It’s a non-invasive and painless test, and most children find it to be enjoyable and engaging.
If any hearing loss is detected during the test, further evaluation may be necessary, such as additional hearing tests or a referral to an ear, nose, and throat specialist. Early detection and intervention are critical for children with hearing loss to help prevent developmental delays and ensure they reach their full potential.
Older children typically perform pure tone audiometry (PTA). The actual test is like play audiometry however the technique is different as older children would typically be responsive to the test for longer periods. PTA tests the child’s ability to hear different tones at different frequencies. The child wears headphones and indicates when they hear a sound by pressing a button or raising their hand. Speech audiometry may also be used to assess a child’s ability to hear and understand speech. This test involves playing recorded speech at different volumes and asking the child to repeat back what they hear.
Tympanometry is a test that measures the movement of the ear drum relative to sound and gives us information on the
state of the middle ear. It is a useful test for diagnosing common conditions such as glue ear which is most common in children under the age of 7. Except contraindicated, we perform tympanometry on all children as part of our comprehensive children’s hearing test.
Children are not miniature adults. Children’s hearing tests require a particular skill set. Our private paediatric audiologists are highly qualified and skilled in detecting hearing loss in children. We explain your child’s hearing test results to you using jargon-free language to ensure you understand the details, implications for your child, and management options. If we detect a hearing loss, we can fit your child with hearing aids if suitable. We can also refer your child to an audio vestibular physician for aetiology (finding out the cause of the hearing loss). This is important because the more information we have on the hearing loss, the better we can manage your child’s hearing impairment.
Glue ear in Children
Glue ear is by far the most common cause of hearing loss in children that we see in our clinic daily. We know glue ear affects 8 in 10 children in the UK before they start primary school. It occurs when the middle ear becomes filled with sticky fluid. It is believed that this sticky fluid build-up is caused by an infected adenoid from coughs and colds. This infected adenoid then passes bacteria into the middle ear space causing inflammation and subsequently fluid build-up.
Most cases of glue ear are temporary and would resolve spontaneously. Glue ear can cause a hearing loss which in turn can affect your child’s speech and language development. As a parent, you may notice subtle signs of a hearing loss in your child such as
- a change in your child’s behaviour,
- fatigue (due to increased listening effort),
- a lack of concentration,
- preferring to play in isolation,
- not responding when called, and
- having the TV volume louder than others would prefer.
If you are concerned about your child’s hearing, we can perform diagnostic tests to check if your child has glue ear and if it has affected their hearing. Where necessary, we can also refer your child to an private ENT consultant with no waiting list.
Private Paediatric Audiology
We understand you would like answers about your child’s hearing as soon as today if possible. So, we have same-day appointments for children hearing tests. Book a test with one of our private paediatric audiologists today.
Hearing Aids for Kids
Fitting hearing aids for children requires a lot more skill and rigour than most people imagine. The audiologist acts as a gateway between your child and the world of sound (that’s profound, right?). The paediatric ear expert has to get these right for your children:
- Choice of colours to ensure the hearing aids amuse them.
- Regular technical measurements to optimise the hearing aids for enhanced speech reception in different environments.
- Ensuring they can hear their teacher well in a noisy classroom.
- Conversations with your child about how their hearing loss affects their social life. For instance, have they come of age where they would prefer an invisible hearing aid?
Children are not small adults, and you must consider their uniqueness when managing their hearing loss. Therefore, our private paediatric audiologists are the best choice if you are considering private hearing aids for your child. We offer the most holistic private hearing service for children in London. Hence, we are often referred to as the best hearing clinic in London.
Causes of hearing loss in Children
Congenital causes of hearing loss refer to conditions that a child is born with. The most common congenital cause of hearing loss is genetic factors, which can cause both syndromic and non-syndromic hearing loss. Syndromic hearing loss in children is hearing loss associated with a specific medical condition or syndrome, such as Down syndrome or Usher syndrome. Children with syndromic hearing loss may have additional symptoms and medical problems beyond just the hearing loss, while non-syndromic hearing loss is not associated with any other medical condition.
Other congenital causes of hearing loss include maternal infections during pregnancy, such as cytomegalovirus (CMV), rubella, and toxoplasmosis, which can cause sensorineural hearing loss. Premature birth and low birth weight are also associated with hearing loss.
Acquired causes of hearing loss refer to conditions that develop after birth. The most common acquired cause of hearing loss in children is otitis media, an infection of the middle ear that can cause temporary or permanent hearing loss. Other infections that can cause hearing loss include meningitis and measles.
Exposure to loud noise, such as loud music or industrial noise, can also cause hearing loss in children. Head injury, certain medications, and certain medical conditions, such as autoimmune diseases, can also cause hearing loss.
Conductive vs. Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Hearing loss in children can be classified as conductive or sensorineural. Conductive hearing loss occurs when sound is not conducted efficiently through the outer ear, middle ear, or both. This type of hearing loss can be caused by conditions such as otitis media, congenital malformations of the ear, or earwax buildup.
Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when there is damage to the inner ear or the auditory nerve. This type of hearing loss can be caused by genetic factors, infections, head trauma, and exposure to loud noise.