Kent Hearing is one of the few audiology practices in the mid-Kent area able to diagnose and treat hearing conditions in children. We offer specialist paediatric clinics every week and work alongside ENT surgeons and GP specialists to provide hearing services for children of all ages. We commonly test for glue ear and for hearing loss in children aged 3 and above. In certain situations, we will test children from birth onwards, subject to discussion with parents. We are also able to safely remove impacted earwax from children’s ears, using microsuction.
Our specialist paediatric clinics are run by Dr Priya Carling AuD, RHAD, and Ruth Bannister BSc, both highly experienced in all aspects of children’s hearing conditions. If required, we may refer paediatric patients for other specialist assessments, depending on the specific nature and severity of their condition.
To discuss your child’s hearing and book an appointment, please call us on 01732 525912
When is it a good idea to have your child’s hearing checked?
If you notice any possible signs of hearing loss in your child, it’s important to have it checked as soon as possible. While hearing loss in children is most often caused by a blocked ear, an ear infection or glue ear (see below) and is usually temporary, early diagnosis and treatment can have a huge and positive impact on a child’s development. If left undiagnosed and untreated, hearing loss can severely affect the development of speech, language, social skills and relationships. It can also be a cause of frustration to your child and contribute significantly to behavioural issues both at home and in the classroom.
In some cases hearing loss may be caused by something more serious, so if you notice any symptoms in your child, please consult you GP or book a hearing test with us:
Symptoms of hearing loss include:
- Not responding when their name is called
- Delayed language or learning skills
- Abnormal speech or mumbling
- Not paying attention to or taking part in conversations
- Watching television or listening to music at a high volume
- Complaining of buzzing or other noises that you cannot hear
- Not being able to hear if there is background noise.
Ear Infections and Glue Ear.
Glue ear is also common in younger children and may occur following an ear infection, when the ear fills up with pus which will not drain away because the eustation tube (which runs between the ear and the throat) becomes blocked or inflamed. Symptoms of glue ear include, hearing loss, discharge from the ear if there is a perforation, ear pain, redness or swelling around the ear and ringing or buzzing sounds in the ear. Glue ear may also affect a child’s sleep and concentration. Adults can also get glue ear, but it is most common in infants and children under the age of 6.
Both ear infections and glue ear will often clear up by themselves without the need for treatment, but if symptoms persist for any length of time, please consult your GP or book an appointment with us by calling 01732 525912.
About your appointment
When you bring your child to Kent Hearing, please ensure that they are well-rested, fed and as are as relaxed as possible. This will help the appointment run smoothly. Testing is conducted in the form of play as much as possible, so that your child is in a comfortable and relaxed environment during their time with us.
Play audiometry, pure tone audiometry, bone conduction testing and tympanometry and visual re-inforcement audiometry or VRA may all be undertaken as part of a child’s hearing test.
Please note that all children must be willing to let us look in their ears. We encourage you to familiarise your child with headphones prior to your appointment, as they may be asked to wear them during testing.
We allow a minimum of 1 hour for all paediatric appointments. We are happy for one or both parents to attend their child’s appointment, but ask that siblings are not present.
What happens after my child’s hearing test?
What are grommets and when are they needed?
Can my child’s hearing loss be caused by genetics?
The CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention) estimates that genetic causes account for between 50-60% hearing loss in babies.
Did you know?
- There are 50,000 children with hearing loss in the UK. Of these, approximately 25,000 children are born with hearing loss and the other half develop hearing loss during their early years
- 1 in 5 pre-school children may have glue ear at any one time. On average, 8 out of 10 children will experience glue ear before the age of 10. Glue ear is the most common hearing condition we treat
- Hearing loss has a huge impact on the speech and language development of children of all ages, particularly during their formative years. The human brain completes 85% of its physical growth by the age of 3 ½ and therefore these first years of life are critically important to developing spoken language through listening.