February is Pediatric ENT Health Month

an otolaryngologist tests hearing of a girl patientThe first few years of a child’s life are critically important in physical development as well as in forming emotional, learning and communication skills. Because of this, babies with moderate to severe hearing loss can experience developmental setbacks. Early identification of and intervention in hearing loss facilitates language development.  The best way to identify and treat hearing loss is to bring your child to an audiologist to complete a comprehensive hearing evaluation.

At Sacramento Ear, Nose & Throat, our Audiologists have the equipment and skills necessary to test hearing for children of all ages, with specialized tests created for certain age groups.

Available for all ages:

  • Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE)
    • Tests hearing by sending sound into the ear and monitoring response from the inner ear.
  • Tympanometry
    • Tests eardrum mobility and middle ear function.

Birth to 6 months:

  • Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR or BAER)
    • Sound is presented to each ear and the brainstem’s response to the sound is recorded.

6 months to 2 1/2 years:

  • Visual Response Audiometry (VRA)
    • Tests hearing by conditioning the child to turn their head toward a sound accompanied by something interesting to look at.

2 1/2 years to 5 years:

  • Conditioned Play Audiometry
    • Tests hearing by conditioning the child to place a toy in a bucket or other simple age appropriate task when a sound is heard.

6 years and older:

  • Conventional Audiometry
    • Tests hearing by conditioning the child to raise their hand when a sound is heard.
  • Auditory Processing Disorder Testing (Central Auditory Processing or CAP evaluation)
    • Designed for children with normal hearing, who have difficulty processing speech and understanding speech in the presence of background noise.

If your family has a history of childhood hearing loss, mom had a difficult pregnancy or the child experiences reoccurring middle ear infections or delay of speech-language development, we recommend that you call (916) 736-3399 to schedule a hearing evaluation with one of our SacENT Audiologists. Celebrate Pediatric ENT Health Month this February by caring for your child’s hearing.   The audiologist will always recommend follow up with one of our ENT physicians if needed.