As your child enters preschool, they are going through a lot of changes and new experiences. The new environment that your child is in can help reveal a lot of how your child reacts to specific situations and also reveal specific things about their health and body. One thing you or a teacher may notice more in the preschool environment is your child's ability to hear. This doesn't mean listening or following directions, but the actual process of hearing. If your child is struggling in school, then there may be some type of hearing loss to consider. By talking them to a professional doctor, you can help your child undergo a number of hearing tests that can help your doctor figure out the exact problem and cause. Understanding the preschool environment and different types of hearing loss will help showcase signs of what to look for and what to expect through hearing testing.
Now that your child is attending preschool, they may be exposed to a lot more background noise than ever before. Other children playing, classroom music, or the sounds of school in general can all influence their ability to hear. An audiologist can go through a specific test that functions with background noise. This type of test is known as speech testing. Instead of a traditional test with beeps or noises, a speech test uses audible words and phrases that a child must respond to. At first, the control test uses words and phrases without any background noise. Then background noise is added in, and the child must recognize the various words. This can help pinpoint whether there is any hearing loss and the severity of that loss.
If you feel like your child is struggling in preschool, it's important to have daily discussions to help break down the issue. It can be frustrating for both you and the child when they are clearly going through issues but do not have the capabilities to express the exact problem. Asking your child directly about hearing loss may not get you the answers that you need. As an alternative, you can simply ask them about their day. You can ask them what their favorite part of the day was and what their least favorite part of the day was. Opening up these discussions will help you establish a dialogue and allow you to understand what types of issues they are going through. Look for key words or phrases that indicate your child couldn't understand, got confused, or didn't hear the teacher. All of these elements are key signs of an issue.
It can be hard to rely on a child for proper ear testing. This is why there are other function tests that can help diagnose a child and see whether there are any auditory issues. One of these function tests is known as middle-ear testing. There are specific elements of hearing loss that can be detected through the middle ear. During an appointment, an audiologist will complete a variety of tests to determine whether there are any abnormalities present. For example, a tympanometry will check the air flow of an ear. This test looks for wax buildup, extra fluid, or any blockages that can create hearing issues.
Another test that can be performed is an acoustic reflex measure. This type of test can pinpoint the exact location of a hearing problem. The test will measure the strength of a small muscle in the middle ear that vibrates and contracts as sound travels into the ear. This test is essential in helping to get the proper diagnosis and treatment for your child.
A teacher can help provide information if they've noticed that your child has trouble hearing in the classroom. This is valuable information to have as you plan a hearing test. Make an appointment with a professional like Audiology Consultants, P.C. to get started.
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