Children's hearing service
This leaflet will give you information about the different appointments that Hearing Services can offer children. Some children will be attending for assessment of their hearing while others may be attending for a hearing aid fitting.
If an interpreter is needed at the appointment, please contact the Hearing Services department at least a week before your appointment so that this can be arranged.
The child in your care will be coming to the Hearing Services department for either:
- Hearing assessment
- Hearing aid fitting
- Hearing aid reassessment
This appointment will be carried out by a member of the Audiology team and will involve taking an impression of the child’s ear using a foam stop (used to protect the ear drum and middle ear) and a soft putty material. This will be used to make a custom ear mould which will then be used to fit the hearing aid. The appointment will take 15 to 30 minutes.
The soft putty material will need to stay in the child’s ear canal until it sets, which is usually about 2 minutes.
This process is not painful but younger patients might find it uncomfortable for a short time as it is an unusual sensation.
Children are asked at this appointment if they would like a coloured/sparkly ear mould, there are many colours to choose from, or a clear mould can be made.
The audiologist may not be able to go ahead if the child’s ears have too much wax and the appointment may have to be rebooked.
If this is the first time the child has had impressions, the audiologist may show you a sample mould and hearing aid. At the fitting appointment, more details on how to use and look after the hearing aid will be given. Fitting of the hearing aid will be carried out by a children’s (paediatric) audiologist who will retest the child’s hearing.
If at the fitting appointment the hearing is considered to be within normal limits, the audiologist will make the decision about whether or not to fit a hearing aid.
If the impression is for custom ear pieces to be used to keep the ears dry and not for use with hearing aids, there will be a cost. The audiologist will discuss this with you at the appointment.
This appointment will be carried out by 1 or 2 members of the audiology team and will take 30 to 45 minutes. The type of hearing assessment carried out will depend on the child’s age and development.
There are 2 types of assessment; Visual Reinforcement Audiometry (VRA) and play audiometry. Both of these tests are designed to test the level of a child’s hearing.
VRA involves presenting sounds through a speaker and rewarding the child with a flashing toy when they turn to the sound. This test is usually used for children up to the age of 3 years old but can be used for older children if required.
Play audiometry involves a child placing a plastic egg into a bowl when they hear sounds through a set of headphones. Other games of a similar nature can also be used. This test is usually used for children from the age of 3 years old and upwards. Older children may be asked to press a button when sounds are heard.
A middle ear function test will also be carried out as part of the hearing assessment. This involves a soft plastic tip being placed into the child’s ear. The child will then feel a small puff of air as the test is carried out.
As part of the hearing assessment further testing may be carried out if required. The audiologist will explain if more tests are needed. The test results will be sent back to the professional who referred the child.
Hearing aid fitting
This appointment will be carried out by a paediatric audiologist and will take around 1 hour and 15 minutes.
The child’s hearing will be re-tested at this appointment to confirm the hearing levels.
If the hearing levels are appropriate for a hearing aid to be fitted the audiologist will do so at this appointment.
The fitting of the hearing aid involves using a computer and another test to make sure that the aid is correctly set up for the child’s hearing. Depending on the age of the child, the test can vary. There are 2 tests and they both involve a small tube being placed in the ear canal. This process is not painful, but as it is an unusual sensation, the child may feel some slight discomfort for a short time. The child will hear some sounds played through a speaker; this test will help us to programme the hearing aid more precisely to the child’s hearing loss.
The hearing aid will be fitted using the ear mould made at the previous appointment; the audiologist will make sure that the mould fits correctly. The audiologist will also make sure that the sound of the hearing aid is comfortable for your child; adjustments can be made if needed.
The child, and person who cares for them will be shown how to operate and look after the hearing aid. Written information will also be provided.
Hearing aid reassessment
This appointment will be carried out by a paediatric audiologist and will take 45 to 60 minutes. The child’s hearing will be re- tested at this appointment to confirm the hearing levels.
This appointment is planned so that we can monitor a child’s progress with their hearing aid and make any adjustments if required.
If a hearing aid has not previously been fitted and the hearing levels would now benefit from a hearing aid, one will be fitted at this appointment. New ear moulds and other repairs can also be carried out at this appointment.
- If your child has been given a hearing aid, please make sure they bring the hearing aid to every appointment
- You can contact the department at any time for repairs, new ear moulds or if you have any questions or other concerns
- You can contact the department for hearing aid batteries to be posted to you, or if you prefer you can collect them from the department
- If you feel that your child’s hearing has changed, please contact us to arrange an appointment
- Hearing aids can be sent to the department for repairs. The aid can be posted back to you or you can collect the hearing aid from the department (repairs may take up to 5 working days)
- New ear moulds can be posted to your home address if requested
Gloucestershire Royal Hospital
Great Western Road
Tel: 0300 422 8210
Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 4.00pm