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Testing a Child's Hearing

  • ​Testing A Child’s Hearing


    If you have concerns for your child’s hearing, Boys Town National Research Hospital is here to help.

    When you and your child come to Boys Town hospital, you know you’re in the right place.

    Boys Town National Research Hospital has been instrumental in the development of many hearing screening tools that are now routine across the country.

    Our nationally-certified audiologists have the experience and expertise it takes to examine and test even the smallest of ears. Parents will be there to comfort and encourage their child throughout testing, and in some cases may even participate in the testing process.

    Our audiologists will conduct the most appropriate hearing test for your child’s age and development.

    Almost all babies born in the United States now receive a routine Newborn Hearing Screening either before leaving the hospital or within three weeks after dismissal.

    A small percentage of babies are referred for further hearing testing, which is conducted here at Boys Town.

    To test our youngest patients, small bandaid-type electrodes are placed behind each ear and on baby’s head. Sounds are then played to the ears using miniature earphones. The electrodes pick up responses from the hearing nerve and are displayed on a computer screen. Another test plays sounds to the ear and a microphone records emissions or echoes from the child’s inner ear. The tests are painless and are conducted while the infant sleeps or rests quietly.

    Children older than 6 months can be tested using a behavioral technique called Visual Reinforcement Audiometry or (VRA). During this test, a sound is played either through miniature earphones or a loudspeaker. The child is trained to turn to the sound by the use of an animated toy. By using this technique, it’s possible to obtain detailed information about the child’s hearing loss across frequencies in both ears. Test results are graphed on an audiogram.

    Preschool aged children are tested using Conditioned Play Audiometry or (CPA). This is a game-like activity where the child is asked to do a specific task, such as dropping a block in a bucket, every time a sound is heard. If the child is 4 or older, they may play a computer game. Typically, sounds are played through miniature earphones and results are graphed on an audiogram.

    If you think your child may have a hearing problem, you should have your child tested for hearing loss.

    Call the Boys Town hospital location of your choice and our receptionist will schedule your child to see one of our nationally-certified audiologists.

    Early detection and management of hearing loss is essential to the development of your child’s speech and language skills and academic success. If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s hearing, come see us at Boys Town National Research Hospital. We’re here to help.

Childhood Deafness Hearing and Balance