Trusted Pediatric Audiologist in Brooklyn, NYC
Hearing loss isn’t limited to the elderly. Children can suffer from hearing challenges, which is where pediatric audiology services come in.
Pediatric audiologists examine children for hearing loss and related issues by performing hearing tests and evaluations. With their guidance, families can determine the presence, extent, and reason for hearing loss in babies, toddlers, children, and teens.
When you suspect that your child is not hearing well, struggling to communicate, or lacking in language development, you want to look to a hearing care professional with experience in pediatric audiology for an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment for your child.
Every step of the pediatric hearing test used by ZN Audiology is designed to be friendly, welcoming, and relaxing for you and your child as well as lead to more accurate testing results and the best possible solutions.
Although some practices include newborn hearing screenings and care for younger children, our Brooklyn, NYC, practice focuses on children ages five and up.
Frequently Asked Questions About Pediatric Audiology
What are the most common causes of hearing loss in children?
The causes of hearing loss in children can be divided into two classes: congenital hearing loss and acquired hearing loss.
Congenital Hearing Loss
Some people are born with hearing difficulties, or congenital hearing loss. Genetic conditions account for 50 percent or more of congenital hearing loss cases, but other causes can be related to prenatal infections, illnesses, and toxins consumed by the mother during pregnancy, along with infection within the womb, premature birth, gestational diabetes, toxemia during pregnancy, and a lack of oxygen (anoxia).
Causes of Acquired Hearing Loss Include:
- Otitis media—inflammation of the middle ear, just behind the eardrum and often into the Eustachian tube between the middle ear and the back of the throat.
- Illnesses like meningitis, measles, encephalitis, chickenpox, influenza, and mumps.
- Ototoxic drugs known to affect hearing.
- Head injuries.
- Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL)—among the primary causes of acquired hearing loss in children. It can be caused by the use of headphones and earbuds to play video games and an endless stream of media via smartphones, both of which have the capacity to pump damaging sound at an excessive volume directly into your child’s ears. However, it can also be caused by other activities that expose children to loud noise, like using lawn and garden equipment, attending concerts and sporting events, riding motorcycles and snowmobiles, or participating in shooting sports or hunting without proper protection.
What happens if my child’s hearing loss is not addressed?
Difficulties with speech and language, impaired social-emotional development, and reduced academic performance are among the consequences of not addressing hearing loss in children.
What age range does a pediatric audiologist work with?
Many pediatric audiology practices accept children from birth through 18-21 years of age (insurance companies recognize individuals up to age 20 as being included as pediatric patients). ZN Audiology focuses on children from ages five through 20.
How often should my child see a pediatric audiologist?
What are the signs of hearing loss in children?
Answering the following questions can help you determine whether your child is experiencing a hearing loss:
- Does your child get frequent colds and ear infections?
- Does your child not understand people without facing them?
- Does your child speak loudly, as if having trouble hearing himself/herself?
- Does your child always turn up the volume on the TV or radio?
- Does your child often not respond when called?
- Does your child need to have things repeated?
- Is there a history of hearing loss in your family?
- Was your child born prematurely? (sooner than 37 weeks)
- Did your child have a low birth weight?
- Did your child experience a lack of oxygen at birth?
How is hearing loss in children diagnosed?
Infants and small children under the age of five are typically diagnosed by using auditory brainstem response (ABR) testing, but older children are tested much in the same way as adults, though with some kid-friendly alterations to the process, such as visual reinforcement audiometry or conditioned play audiometry.
What treatments are available for hearing loss in children?
Pediatric audiology treatments typically include treatment for underlying medical conditions (often in cooperation with an ENT doctor), hearing aids, and/or electronic (cochlear) implants. However, pediatric audiologists also focus on teaching adaptive communication like sign language as well as work with speech and language skill development.
What You Should Know About a Pediatric Hearing Assessment at ZN Audiology
What should I expect during my child’s appointment with a pediatric audiologist?
We understand that early intervention is the key to helping children who struggle to hear. Our NYC audiology practice is a resource for anyone over the age of five who may be struggling with a hearing loss. We’ve seen firsthand the toll hearing loss can take on people and their families. As a result, we are committed to doing right by our patients, and our #1 goal is to help them overcome those challenges.
Through our professional and advanced pediatric audiology evaluations, we will determine the nature and severity of your entire family’s hearing loss, which helps us design a treatment plan to address their specific needs.
Our pediatric hearing evaluation process is similar to the one we use with adults:
At the start of your child’s appointment, Dr. Zarina Naizam will ask you questions to understand your child’s hearing and overall health better. She will ask about any medications being taken, past surgeries, and family history of hearing loss. She will also ask about your child’s lifestyle, such as exposure to loud noises or recreational activities that may put your child at risk for hearing loss, as well as questions specifically related to prenatal and birth issues and illnesses and infections your child has encountered.
Dr. Naizam will use a video otoscope to examine your child’s ears and look for any abnormalities, such as impacted cerumen or signs of infection.
The next part of the evaluation involves a test of the middle ear, known as tympanometry.
This test evaluates your child’s ability to hear different tones and sounds. Dr. Naizam will use an audiometer, which produces different frequencies and volumes of sound. Your child will wear headphones and be asked to respond when they hear a sound.
Another test that will allow Dr. Naizam to evaluate your child’s hearing is a speech test. This test involves your child listening to a series of spoken words at different volumes and repeating them back to Dr. Naizam. If hearing loss is observed, a speech-in-noise test will be conducted to evaluate their ability to hear and understand speech in noisy environments.
The results of the audiometric evaluation will be plotted on a graph called an audiogram, which shows your child’s hearing thresholds at different frequencies. This information is used to diagnose the type and severity of hearing loss, if present.
Discussion of Results and Options
Depending on the outcome of your child’s hearing evaluation, Dr. Naizam will walk you through the results, explain what they mean and, if required, discuss the potential treatment options, which may include::
- Hearing aids
- Cochlear implants
- Speech-language therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Referral to an ENT (ear, nose, and throat doctor) to collaboratively determine the best care plan with their pediatric audiologist
Schedule a Pediatric Hearing Evaluation for Your Child
We understand that nothing is more important than the healthy growth and development of your child, and we know that hearing loss has a major negative effect on language development. ZN Audiology provides pediatric hearing tests to diagnose the severity of your child’s hearing loss and individualized treatment to limit its impact.
Contact us to schedule a pediatric hearing evaluation for your child by using the adjacent form so you can ensure that your child gets the healthy start he or she needs to live a better quality of life.