A child's age and ability determine which of the following pediatric hearing test methods are used:
Subjective Testing Methods
- Behavioral Observation Audiometry (BOA) is typically administered to babies from birth to seven months old. Speech and sounds are emitted from speakers in a sound-treated room, and children are observed for changes including eye movements, sucking patterns, cessations of crying, etc.
- Visual Reinforced Audiometry (VRA) is typically administered to children from seven months to three years old. Children are taught to turn their heads each time a sound is presented from a speaker, and their response is reinforced with a light or moving toy.
- Conditioned Play Audiometry (CPA) is typically administered to children from three to five years old. During CPA, children are taught to play a game (e.g., throw a ball into a bucket) when hearing a sound (through headphones or otherwise).
- Conventional audiometry is typically administered to children five years and older. Children wear headphones, raise their hands when a word is heard, and are then asked to repeat words.
- Middle ear testing, also known as tympanometry, involves a soft probe placed into the ear to help assess the status of the tympanic membrane (eardrum) and middle ear.
Objective Testing Methods
- OtoAcoustic Emission (OAE) tests objectively assess hearing capability through the measurement of echoes after sound is introduced from a soft earpiece.
- Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) assesses the organs of hearing, auditory nerve, and auditory pathways to the level of the brainstem.