Initial hearing assessment

With our considerable clinical experience we are able to offer 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 your child. Children’s hearing testing needs to be fun and play based, particularly for younger children, so we do our best to put your child at ease and help them to enjoy the appointment.

Our children’s hearing assessments usually last an hour and include full hearing testing, examination of the ears and checking for glue ear (congestion). We will send you a questionnaire to complete prior to the appointment so that the assessment is based on your needs. You will be given a full and clear explanation of all the test results given at the end of the appointment. We will then discuss appropriate options with you and together make an action plan for your child 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

RESEARCH SHOWS THE IMPORTANCE OF IDENTIFYING HEARING LOSS AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE

Hearing review

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.

We would be pleased to review your child’s hearing as and when necessary. Because 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.

CHILDREN’S HEARING CAN FLUCTUATE AND OFTEN NEEDS MONITORING

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 formal education. We 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 offer access to a school entry hearing screen service.

HEARING SPEECH CLEARLY IS IMPORTANT FOR LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT AND LITERACY

Hearing Aids

With accurate and detailed hearing assessments, we are able to identify if your child has any hearing loss and, if so, the level of their hearing loss. We are also able to provide information about whether your child’s hearing difficulties are likely to temporary or permanent and recommend and discuss different management options which will be most suitable for your child. With our backgrounds as HCPC Registered Clinical Scientist in Audiology and HCPC Registered Hearing Aid Dispensers we are able to advise you on the suitability of hearing aid(s) for your child as well as providing a range of hearing aid styles and programming options available based on the needs of your child.

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 your child is always receiving effective amplification from their hearing aids. We will provide you with a full report of our results and recommendations which can be shared with your local support services (audiology, specialist teachers for hearing impairment, speech and language therapists). An independent appointment at Chester Hearing and Balance Services should not replace an NHS appointment – it is designed to give you additional information about your child’s hearing and hearing aids.

With our experience of a wide range of makes and models of hearing aids we are able to offer you the opportunity to purchase spare sets of hearing aids and/or earmoulds for your 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.

PROVIDING ACCESS TO GOOD QUALITY SOUND INFORMATION

Hearing aid evaluation

For children who have a known hearing loss and 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. We 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.

We 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.

CHECKING HEARING AIDS ARE WORKING AS BEST AS POSSIBLE FOR YOUR CHILD

Sound sensitivity

Some children have difficulty with sound sensitivities. This can be tinnitus (noises heard in the ear(s) or in the head that are not heard by others), sensitivity to loud sounds (hyperacusis) or 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 your child in dealing with their sound sensitivities.

37% OF CHILDREN AGED 6-12 YEARS WITH NORMAL HEARING HAVE TINNITUS AND THIS RISES TO 59% IN CHILDREN WITH HEARING LOSS

ENT support services

Chester Hearing and Balance Services support ENT Consultants based at the following private hospitals within the local area of Cheshire, Wirral, Merseyside and North Wales.
We are able to provide the following services for adults and children which may have been requested or advised by your ENT Consultant:


  • hearing assessment
  • assessment of middle ear function
  • hearing aid assessment
  • tinnitus assessment and management
  • hearing aid provision
  • advice and provision of hearing protection
  • provision of swim plugs (water precautions)