Initial hearing assessment
With our considerable clinical experience we are able to offer families a range of hearing assessment techniques for children from 6 months of age up to young adults allowing the assessment to be tailor-made for the child or young person. The assessment is based on the needs of the family with a full and clear explanation of test results given at the end of the assessment. We will then discuss appropriate options with the family and together make an action plan for the child or young person in terms of their hearing. For more information on children’s hearing tests search for the NDCS booklet on “Understanding Your Child’s Hearing Tests” at www.ndcs.org.uk
Hearing is something that can change over time with fluctuating hearing levels being particularly common in children due to glue ear (congestion). Retesting your child’s hearing after a certain amount of time may be recommended by your audiologist and/or ENT doctor. Chester Hearing and Balance Services would be pleased to review your child’s hearing – as we are qualified and experienced in carrying out a full range of hearing assessment techniques we can adapt the hearing testing as your child grows and develops.
Chester Hearing and Balance Services support ENT Consultants based at the nearby Grosvenor Nuffield Hospital and within the local area. We are able to provide:
- hearing assessments,
- assessment of middle ear function,
- hearing aid assessments,
- tinnitus assessments,
- hearing aid provision,
- advice and provision of hearing protection
- provision of swim plugs (water precautions may have been advised by your ENT doctor).
School entry hearing screen
Most children will receive a hearing screen at school entry, usually in the Reception Year of primary school. This allows both ears to be tested individually and in more detail than the basic hearing screen which is usually carried out shortly after birth (newborn hearing screening). It is important to identify any hearing loss at an early stage and especially before children start their education. Chester Hearing and Balance Services would be pleased to screen your child’s hearing particularly if they have missed their school entry hearing screen or if they attend a school which does not access a school entry hearing screen service.
Second opinion (hearing aid evaluation)
With accurate and detailed hearing assessments, Chester Hearing and Balance Services are able to identify if there is any hearing loss and, if so, the level of the hearing loss. We are also able to provide information about whether the hearing difficulties are likely to temporary or permanent.
For children who have a hearing loss and who have already been fitted with hearing aids, we are able to offer hearing aid evaluation where we will measure whether the output (sound) of the hearing aid is appropriate for your child’s hearing loss. We will also review the technology available to improve your child’s access to sound. This may include FM systems, Bluetooth and loop system/telecoil for different listening situations (such as the using the telephone).
Poorly fitting earmoulds can be a common problem with hearing aids used by very young children. Chester Hearing and Balance Services are able to check the existing earmoulds to make sure they are secure and comfortable and fit well in your child’s ear – this will help to prevent whistling and to ensure that speech is as clear as possible. We can also make new earmoulds for your child if necessary and are able to choose from a variety of earmould styles and materials to ensure the best fit possible.
Chester Hearing and Balance Services can explore options for different styles and types of hearing aids for older children and teenagers, who may be self-conscious about wearing their hearing aids. We will consider the possibility of in-the-ear, open fit or integrated radio-aid receiver hearing aids, however, the suitability of any options will depend on the size of your child’s ear and the level and type of their hearing loss.
Some children have difficulty with sound sensitivities. This can be a tinnitus (noises heard in the ear(s) or in the head that are not heard by others), a sensitivity to loud sounds (hyperacusis) or a sensitivity to certain sounds (misophonia). All of which can impact on the child and how they function on a daily basis. We are able to offer sound sensitivity assessments and personalised management plans to support the child in dealing with their sound sensitivities.
With our backgrounds as a HCPC Registered Clinical Scientist in Audiology and a HCPC Registered Hearing Aid Dispenser we are able to advise families on the suitability of hearing aid(s) for their child as well as providing a range of hearing aid styles and programming options available based on the needs of the child or young person. Children or young people who wear hearing aids will benefit from regular hearing aid reviews to ensure that they have effective amplification (i.e. the hearing aids are doing the right job). We can therefore provide regular hearing aid reviews, hearing aid aftercare and provision of hearing aid accessories to ensure that the child or young person is always receiving effective amplification from their hearing aids.
With our experience of a wide range of makes and models of hearing aids we are able to offer families the opportunity to purchase spare sets of hearing aids for their child. This can relieve the worry of being without the hearing aids if they are ever lost or broken, particularly if this happens when you are not at home or away on holiday. Even if your child’s hearing aids have been provided elsewhere (from a hearing aid dispenser or from an NHS Audiology service), we are able to provide like-for-like hearing aids and can programme the spare hearing aids to match the settings on your child’s original hearing aids.