Pediatric Audiology Treatments and Services

There are different degrees of hearing and hearing loss. It is important to know that even a "mild" hearing loss is considered both communicatively and educationally significant for a child as it will affect their ability to learn language.

Degrees of hearing/hearing loss include:

  • Normal
  • Mild
  • Moderate
  • Moderate-severe
  • Severe
  • Profound

There are different types of hearing loss:

  • Sensorineural: involving the cochlea (inner ear) and/or VIII (auditory) nerve
  • Conductive: involving the outer and/or middle ear systems
  • Mixed: a combination of both sensorineural and conductive

Causes of hearing loss

Hearing loss has many causes. Some of the more common causes include:

  • Blockage in the outer ear (for example, wax or a foreign body)
  • Damaged eardrum or middle ear bones
  • Ear infections
  • Exposure to loud noise
  • Genetic conditions/inheritance
  • Head injury (for example, a skull fracture)
  • Infections:
    • Congenital (for example, toxoplasmosis, rubella, CMV, herpes, or syphilis)
    • Acquired (for example, influenza, meningitis, labyrinthitis, mumps, or syphilis)
  • Medications that are ototoxic (toxic to the ear)

Treatment with amplification/management devices

The amplification/management arm of the audiology service provides and supports a number of different device options to improve access to sound for individuals with hearing loss.

Examples of devices offered include:

  • Cochlear implants
  • Baha devices (both surgical and non-surgical)
  • Earmolds for use with hearing devices (or for hearing conservation)
  • Hearing aids
  • Hearing Assistive Technology (HAT), such as FM amplification devices

The Audiology Program has Hearing Instrument Specialists who are licensed to select, fit, and dispense hearing amplification devices. Our Hearing Instrument Specialists provide direct support to patients with hearing loss, particularly when equipment concerns arise.