Hearing Tests for Children

Our Audiologists provide comprehensive hearing testing for babies and children in our Cork based hearing clinic.

The types of hearing tests we perform are outlined below.

Type of Hearing Test: Visual Reinforcement Audiometry (VRA).
Suitable For: Babies and young children. 7 months of age to approx. 2.5 years.

About this Hearing Test:

  • A reliable and standardised testing procedure.
  • Used to assess the hearing threshold levels of children.
  • Involves a procedure whereby your child is ‘conditioned’ to associate the test tones with a visual reward such as a toy which lights up.
  • In this way your child’s response to the test tone is reinforced each time, allowing reliable hearing threshold results to be obtained across a range of audiometric frequencies.

Type of Hearing Test: Play Audiometry.
Suitable For: Young children 2.5 years to 5 years.

About This Hearing Test:

  • Your child responds to the test tones through play rather than pressing a button as an older child or adult would.
  • Both VRA and Play/ Performance Audiometry can be carried out using either insert earphones, where ear specific results are obtained, or by using sound field speakers (often used in younger children who will not tolerate insert earphones or headphones)

Type of Hearing Test: Oto-acoustic Emissions (OAE) Testing.
Suitable From: Birth to age 3.

About This Hearing Test:

  • Used to objectively assess the function of the cochlea.
  • OAEs are responses generated by the cochlea in response to an acoustic stimuli.
  • The presence of OAEs to a satisfactory level indicates that the cochlea is functioning well.
  • If OAEs are absent or ’not recordable’ this indicates that there may defective cochlear function.
  • The recording of OAEs is strongly affected by non-cochlear factors such as excessive wax or middle ear effusion, which will preclude the recording of a response.

Type of Hearing Test: Speech Discrimination Testing.
Suitable From: 5 years plus.

About This Hearing Test:

  • Used to assess your child’s ability to hear speech.
  • Carried out using recorded standardised test materials presented via headphones/ speaker at a calibraed level.
  • The patient is asked to repeat back the words they hear and their responses are scored.
  • Useful as a prediction of hearing aid benefit, in cases of suspected non- organic hearing loss, and as an indicator of possible retro cochlear problems.

Type of Hearing Test: Tympanometry
Suitable From: Birth onwards

About This Test:

  • Used to assess middle ear function in both children and adults.
  • Does not require your child to do anything other than sit still and allow us to place a soft tip in their ear
  • This test can be done at any age.
  • Tympanometry does not measure true hearing but it can indicate whether there is any fluid in the middle ear which is preventing the eardrum from moving correctly.
Asset 1Baby Hearing Aid

Videos courtesy of the NHS