The hearing test is an important part of your child’s health care. It can help you and your child’s doctor decide if there is a problem, how serious it is, and what to do about it.
The hearing test can be done by a doctor or audiologist. They use special equipment to measure how well your child hears sounds. The test does not hurt and usually takes less than 30 minutes.
You may have heard that babies should be tested for hearing as soon as they are born. That’s because some babies are born with a condition called congenital hearing loss (CHL). This means they were born deaf or with partial loss of hearing that cannot be fixed with medicine or surgery. CHL can cause language delays, learning difficulties and other problems in the future. But if CHL shows up early, it can be treated with hearing aids or cochlear implants (a surgically implanted device that helps people hear better).
The first thing is that the results of your hearing test will be compared to the average results for people of your age, gender and race. For example, if a hearing test shows that you can’t hear as well as your peers, it doesn’t mean that you have a problem or disease.
Hearing loss isn’t measured in decibels (dB) like volume; it’s measured in “decibels above the average,” or dB(A). A person with normal hearing has an average score of 0 dB(A), while someone with mild hearing loss has a score between -10 and -20 dB(A).
The second thing to know about hearing tests is that they don’t give you an accurate idea of how much you’ll be able to understand in real life situations such as restaurants, parties or lectures. They don’t tell you how much background noise there is either. So just because someone passes a hearing test doesn’t mean they won’t have trouble understanding speech when there’s background noise or when someone speaks quickly and softly.
The hearing test is a sensitive, safe and accurate way to measure your hearing. It’s used to help determine if you have a hearing loss, the degree of that loss, and whether any treatment is needed.
The test itself involves sitting in a soundproof room while wearing headphones and listening to sounds at different volumes and frequencies. The technician will ask you to respond when they hear a tone, or they may have you repeat words or phrases after them.
Test your hearing by an audiologist or an otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat doctor). It usually takes about 15 minutes.