Specialised paediatric audiology
All Australian States and Territories fund newborn hearing screenings to identify any hearing loss as early as possible.
If you are concerned about your child’s hearing, please phone us on 1800 432 748 and our receptionist will guide you to the service that is best for your child.
We provide free children’s hearing health services at the Mildura Base Hospital. All you need is a referral from your GP. To book an appointment, please contact the Mildura Base Hospital Allied Health Department on (03) 5022 3333.
If you would like your child to be seen privately at one our clinics, you do not need a referral. It is our policy that only our qualified Audiologists, who have specialised paediatric audiology training, may assess children under the age of 13 years.
My child may have a hearing loss
Some types of hearing loss may not present at birth, so it is important to consult a professional if you think your child may have hearing impairment. Early intervention results in significantly better outcomes for speech and language development and other important milestones.
Hearing loss in children is frequently caused by a build-up of fluid behind the ear drum (glue ear), which often clears up. If it doesn’t, we will refer you to your GP, or to follow-up with an Ear Nose and Throat specialist (ENT).
If your child is pulling at or touching their ears frequently, it may be a sign of infection. Some signs that children of various ages may have hearing loss include:
- A lack of response to sound; not startled by loud sounds, not babbling by 6 to 9 months, delayed speech development such as not producing one word expressions at 12 to 18 months.
- Frequently inattentive, fail to respond to conversation level speech, or answer inappropriately, difficulty learning, behavioral problems, or talk too loudly.
Some children are diagnosed with a sensorineural hearing loss, caused by a problem with the cochlea or auditory nerve, which is usually permanent. We refer them on to an ENT. They may also be referred to the government-subsidised Australian Hearing which provides free hearing services to young people up to the age of 25.
How do you test my child’s hearing?
Babies are assessed using the Auditory Brainstem Response test which measures how their brain’s neural pathways respond to sound.
After around the age of nine months, we use the Visual Response Audiometry (VRA) test, where your child responds to various sounds, usually by turning their head towards an interesting visual stimulus.
Once your child is old enough to reliably respond to a signal, we will test with Play Audiometry. We engage in a game, where your child listens through headphones for tones of different pitch and volume and is encouraged to respond, for example, by placing a peg in a board.