Euthymiades Audiology Centres offer a modern and specialised clinical hearing service providing full diagnostic assessments for children of all ages. Our services include all the latest equipment and expertise to test children from 0-16 years of age during natural sleep or conditioned play according to chronological and developmental stages.
Parents can contact us directly for tests. We also accept referrals and have established links with allied private and public professionals, such as Pediatricians, Speech and language therapists, Ear Nose Throat doctors and Neurologists across the island and abroad for holistic management and communication.
WHY TEST A CHILD AT A YOUNG AGE
Hearing plays a significant role in the development of speech and language which emerges round at the age of 2-3 years old. The aim is early intervention should a child is diagnosed with hearing loss so that they will be able to develop normal speech and language and have equal opportunities in school, socially and later in life.
I SUSPECT MY CHILD DOES NOT HEAR WELL
If you suspect that your child may not hear well you can simply visit us for a hearing test to be reassured that either:
1. your child has normal hearing, or
2. your child has temporary hearing loss that needs to be monitored and managed with communication tactics, or
3. your child may have permanent hearing loss that can be managed with aids etc.
HOW WILL MY CHILD BE TESTED
Hearing tests are performed as naturally as possible since the latest technology, pediatric skills and experience allows. Anaesthetics and sedatives are strictly avoided as they may set the child’s health at risk. Home visits are preferred to perform tests during natural sleep in the child’s own comfortable environment.
MODERN METHODS FOR TESTING BABIES AND CHILDREN
We offer Diagnostic Hearing Services, including assessment and management for babies, children and people with special needs. Tests are safe and painless and are based on nationally recognised modernised standards. We offer complementary Newborn Hearing Screening based on British Protocols (http://hearing.screening.nhs.uk/standardsandprotocols).
0-12 months: Oto-acoustic Emissions (OAE) = a little soft probe tip is placed into the ear and within seconds we get an emission from the ear which is recorded on the computer. The result is either clear responses or no clear responses indicating that the child may have at least mild hearing loss. Glue ear or wax can impair responses hence either OAE is repeated when the ear is clear. If no clear OAE responses are obtained, or if the baby is considered at high-risk of hearing loss, we move on to ‘Auditory Brainstem Response’ (ABR), or ‘Corticals’ (MLR, LLR, Corticals).
‘Auditory Brainstem Response’ (ABR), or ‘Corticals’ (MLR, LLR, Corticals). = ABR should be carried out at different frequencies (tone pips at 500Hz, 1kHz, 2kHz, and 4kHz) so that all sounds important to speech are measured. The main reasons most frequencies are needed is for: (1) clear representation of hearing ability, (2) identifying ski-sloping hearing loss, i.e. normal low pitches and raised high pitches, such as in the case of oto-toxicity from antibiotics etc, and (3) proper hearing aid fitting in case a permanent loss appears.
8-36 months: ‘Visual Reinforcement Audiometry’ (VRA). = The child is conditioned to turn to a flashing toy as a reward of responding to sounds. Different pitches are again used to make up the full picture of the child’s hearing.
from 2.5 years: ‘Play Audiometry’ (Performance Test), = The child performs a task at the presentation of sounds. Again different pitches can be measure to get the full picture of the child’s hearing loss. ‘Speech Discrimination Test’. = This test does not replace any test by the Speech and Language Therapist, but it aims to help the therapists’ sessions with the child. It also aims to demonstrate to the parents that a child can or cannot detect speech at a low level.
‘Tympanometry’. = This test checks if there is fluid (glue ear) behind the ear drum which may collect due to congestion from a cold. Fluid may affect hearing temporarily until it drains. In the detection of fluid, parents are given different alternatives depending on the severity and duration of the glue ear, these range from: (1) ‘watch and wait’ monitoring, (2) decongestants, (3) ‘grommet’ to drain the fluid if it persists for a long time.
MY CHILD HAS BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH HEARING LOSS
In the case of permanent hearing loss we offer audiological and counseling family-centered support. Parents are given informed choice on hearing treatment options and the importance of early intervention for normal speech and language development is discussed. Only if there is a need we will discuss pediatric hearing aid options, cochlear implants or/and assistive listening devices, such as FM systems for better school performance. Hearing aids, are only fitted when needed and when the family is ready, especially as a child may have other accompanied problems which take priority.