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Pediatric Audiology

Newborn Hearing Screening

Our team of audiologists provides hearing screening services to infants through the Rex Hospital Newborn Hearing Screening program. Screening services are also offered to babies born at other hospitals and birthing facilities. Our pediatric ENT physicians, audiologists, and speech therapists take pride in working closely with our patients, their parents, and their pediatricians or family doctors to provide the most comprehensive quality pediatric ENT care in North Carolina. All of our ear, nose and throat professionals have received extensive training focusing on working with pediatric patients. We welcome the opportunity to work with parents, physicians and other healthcare professionals to diagnose and treat hearing problems. We also want to be sure you understand the importance of how hearing and speech develop in infants and children.

Behavioral and Objective Hearing Evaluation

A child is never too young to have a hearing test. The child’s developmental age determines the specific test(s) that are used. All of the tests are safe and non-invasive.

  • Before seven months of age, Otoacoustic Emissions (OAEs) or Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) testing can be performed to tell us about a baby’s hearing while he/ or she is sleeping or relaxing quietly. OAEs are measured by placing a small probe tip into the child’s ear canal. The probe presents quiet sounds and picks-up low-level “echoes” emitted by the ears. The presence or absence of these emissions can inform us about an individual’s hearing ability.
  • ABR testing measures responses to sounds played into the ears using electrodes (stickers) placed on the baby’s head. These responses can tell us what your child is hearing while he or she is relaxed and quiet or sleeping. For more information on ABR testing in infants and children click here. (This click opens the ABR brochure- currently located under ABR testing in children).
  • Tympanometry can be performed on patients of all ages. A soft probe tip is placed into the ear and the response measured is used to establish middle ear health, which can affect hearing.
  • Acoustic reflex testing is also appropriate for all patients of all ages. Brief, loud tones are played into the ear canal and the response to those sounds is interpreted to inform us about the functioning of the auditory system pathway.
  • Visual Response Audiometry (VRA) is a form of behavioral hearing testing offered once babies can sit unassisted, usually around 7-9 months of age. Speech and sounds are presented through speakers or headphones and the child is visually rewarded (e.g., toy lighting up) after turning his or her head toward the sound.
  • Conditioned Play Audiometry (CPA) is used with older children around 3-5 years of age. The child is instructed to complete a play-oriented task (e.g., put a block in a bucket) when a sound is presented.
  • Conventional audiometry is used with older children and adults. For this type of testing the child raises his or her hand, gives a verbal response, or presses a button whenever a sound is presented.

Request an Appointment today and find a caring pediatric hearing doctor for your children in Raleigh or near you at one of our convenient locations in Raleigh, Brier Creek, Cary, Garner, Holly Springs, or Wake Forest!

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