Central Auditory Processing Tests

A child who has difficulty processing sound has difficulty understanding speech when distractions such as classroom noise are present, even if hearing is normal. We offer evaluation, counseling, and other intervention approaches to help the child cope with the problem.

Diagnostic Hearing Tests

Suspected hearing loss should be diagnosed by both a doctor and an audiologist. In addition to physically examining the ear, we use hearing tests to determine the type and extent of hearing loss.

These hearing tests may include:

  • the pure tone hearing test
  • tympanogram
  • auditory brainstem response testing
  • otoacoustic emissions testing
  • electrocochleography

If you come to us with a hearing problem, our doctors may perform other tests, depending on your age and the problem. Once we determine the type and severity of hearing loss, we can begin treatment. Hearing aids and other amplifying devices can improve hearing for most people who have a hearing loss.

Neonatal Hearing Screens

Infants need screening for hearing loss so that corrective measures, such as hearing aids, can be started during early speech and language development. Current technologies make it possible for newborn babies to be tested.

It is especially important to test infants who have the following high-risk factors for hearing loss:

  • family history of hearing loss
  • perinatal infection
  • craniofacial abnormalities
  • low birth weight
  • hyperbilirubinemia
  • bacterial meningitus
  • severe asphyxia
  • persistent fetal circulation

Educating parents and primary care doctors is important for early identification and treatment of infants with severe hearing loss.

Otoacoustic Emissions Testing

Our audiologists perform otoacoustic emissions testing (OAE), a relatively new clinical tool for assessing hearing loss. OAEs are low-intensity sounds produced by the inner ear that can be detected by a sensitive microphone placed in the ear canal.

Middle Ear Infections (Otitis Media)

Acute otitis media is a middle ear infection that results in an earache often followed a day or two later by drainage from the ear. Antibiotics are the main treatment. If the child develops repeated bouts of acute otitis media over a relatively short period of time, insertion of ventilating tubes is recommended.

Otitis media with effusion is fluid collection in the middle ear. The condition causes a stuffy sensation in the ear and a mild to moderate hearing loss. Often otitis media with effusion will resolve without treatment. If it does not get better by itself, ventilating tubes may be needed.

Hearing loss, either occasional or frequent, in young children with otitis media may result in delayed speech or learning disabilities.