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PHS - Testing
Courtesy of Phonak

Your child has been referred for a hearing test. The type and degree of testing that will be carried out depends on their co-operation, ability and needs. The types of tests carried out are listed below with a brief summary. A number of these tests may be carried out during your child’s appointment to obtain the information required. The results of the tests and next steps will be discussed with you on the day. 

Otoscopy: The audiologist will look into your child's ear and can see if there is any wax or outer ear problems such as an ear infection or ear drum perforation. 

Tympanometry: This is a pressure test that assesses the condition of the middle ear and looks to see how well the ear drum is moving. 

Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE): This is the same test that is used to screen a newborns hearing. This is just a screen but helps rules out any significant hearing loss although does not rule out a mild hearing loss.


Behavioural Testing

There are a number of different hearing tests that can be used to test your child’s hearing. These require some co-operation from your child and the test selected would be based on your child’s developmental abilities.  The aim of the hearing test is to find out the level of your child’s hearing and, if there is a hearing loss, where in the ear the problem is. It may require a few visits to gain complete test results and build a picture of your child's overall hearing.

Age- developmentally appropriate


3 months – objective test (child does not need to perform a task)

   Otoacoustic Emissions (repeat new-born     screen test)

8months-2.5 years – behavioural test (child performs an age appropriate task)

   Visual Reinforcement Audiometry

2years + - behavioural test

   Performance/ play audiometry

5+ - behavioural test

   Pure tone audiometry

   Speech audiometry 

Should we fail to gain any behavioural results, we may discuss having an Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) with you. The audiologist will refer on to ENT for an appointment and further discussion. 

Please find links to youtube videos below demonstrating a Visual Reinforcement Audiometry appointment and Play/Performance testing. Many thanks to parents and staff for allowing the recordings to take place. 

Please note, all videos below were taken prior to the covid-19 pandemic.