Audiology & Hearing

child hears with headphones

Even mild hearing loss can affect a child’s ability to speak and understand language, as well as impact behavioral development. Nemours' audiologists use state-of-the-art technology and innovative testing techniques to assess your child’s hearing sensitivity. We can evaluate and treat hearing at any age, beginning at birth.

 
Read More About Audiology

Hearing loss in children occurs in an estimated three out of every 1,000 babies born in the United States each year. At Nemours, we are dedicated to finding the best solutions to address each child’s hearing impairment, and we’re committed to counseling and educating families to be advocates for their children in the community.

We have board certified audiologists who are licensed with specialized experience in pediatric audiology.

Our audiologists help diagnose and develop treatment plans for children with hearing disorders such as:
  • hearing loss  
  • (central) auditory processing disorder (APD)
  • auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder (ANSD)
  • balance (vestibular) and dizziness disorders

At Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children and a number of Nemours Children’s Clinic locations in the Delaware Valley and North and Central Florida, we are also able to provide children with hearing impairment special services.

These services include:
  • prescriptions for hearing aids and other assistive and/or amplification devices as well as instruction on the use, care and maintenance of these devices
  • cochlear implant, programming and therapy
  • counseling for families regarding adjustment to hearing aids and cochlear implants
  • specialized programs for children diagnosed with central auditory processing disorder or auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder
  • working with a child’s school and teacher to ensure proper classroom equipment and modifications are in place

We look forward to forming close relationships with our patients and monitoring their progress over time.

Pensacola

Nemours Children's Clinic, Pensacola

5153 North Ninth Avenue
Pensacola, FL 32504
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Phone: (850) 505-4700

Hours: Monday - Wednesday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday: 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
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Audiologists
  • Keena C. Oran, MS, CCC-A
  • Elisabeth Via, MA, CCC-A.
 
What to Bring
  • photo ID
  • medical and pharmacy insurance cards
  • preferred pharmacy name and phone number
  • names and dosage of all medications, including over-the-counter medication, your child is currently taking
  • guardianship and custody papers, if a legal guardian rather than a parent accompanies your child
New Patients

Bring these forms for your first appointment:

Returning Patients
 
Forms & Resources
New Patient Forms
Returning Patient Forms
Resources for Patients & Families

Hearing loss and auditory disorders can cause delays in a child’s speech, language, and cognitive development, so early identification and management of auditory problems and hearing loss in children is important. The Audiology Department at Nemours Children’s Clinic, Pensacola offers comprehensive audiological services for children from birth to age 21.

Our certified audiologists are specially trained to perform evaluations on children with hearing, balance, and other ear-related problems. We use the most up-to-date equipment and innovative pediatric assessment techniques to determine your child’s hearing sensitivity and management needs.

Our services include assessment and monitoring of children with conditions such as:

 
Hearing Loss

About 3 in 1,000 babies are born with hearing loss (also called hearing impairment), making it the most common birth defect. A hearing problem can also develop later in life. Our program is designed to closely monitor hearing loss in children. We collaborate with the ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) department to investigate the possible cause of your child’s hearing loss.

 
Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder

We are able to identify and provide treatment recommendations for  children with auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder(ANSD), an auditory nerve disorder that can make it difficult for children to hear or distinguish one sound from another.


Hearing Evaluations

Our audiologists conduct full hearing diagnostic evaluations in sound-treated rooms with specialized, state-of-the-art equipment. The methods used to test a child’s hearing will depend on the age of the child, the child’s ability to cooperate, developmental, and health status.


General Hearing Tests and Evaluations

Typically, hearing evaluations begin with general diagnostics, or behavioral testing, in one of our sound-proof booths. These tests include:

 
Behavioral Audiometry
Hearing tests based on child’s age and functional level:
  • Children 6 months to 3 years: Visual Reinforcement Audiometry (VRA). The child is seated on the parent’s lap and sound is transmitted through the soundfield speakers, looking for localizations or changes in behavior. This is not an ear-specific test, but reflects the sensitivity of the better ear.
  • Children 3-5 years: Conditioned Play Audiometry (CPA). The child wears either insert earphones or supraaural (headphones) and responds to ear-specific stimuli through the use of a game (i.e. putting a coin in the bank etc.).
  • Children 5-18 years: Standard Behavioral Testing. The child wears insert or supraaural earphones and responds to stimuli by repeating a word or pressing a button.
 
Tympanometry & Middle Ear Muscle Reflex (MEMR) Testing

Tests eardrum flexibility and reflexes of the middle ear muscle. While not a hearing test, it is helpful in identifying middle ear problems, such as fluid collecting behind the eardrum.

The child’s ears are evaluated with an immittance bridge by placing a soft tip in the ear which then assesses eardrum movement, middle ear pressure, and the reflex of the middle ear muscle. This does not require a response from the child, although sitting quietly is required for this brief evaluation.

 
Otoacoustic Emissions (OAEs)

Measures the function of the outer hair cells, or the “natural amplifiers,” which lie inside the cochlea.

During an OAE test, a soft tip is placed in the child’s ear canal, which transmits sound to measure the outer hair cell function in the cochlea.  This can be obtained in seconds on a sleeping infant or an older child who is able to sit quietly.

A normal recording is associated with normal outer hair cell function and this typically reflects normal hearing although in some cases the hearing loss may be due to problems in other parts of the hearing pathway.


Specialized Testing

If your child need further testing beyond the behavior hearing evaluation, your audiologist may recommend one of the following diagnostic tests.

 
Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR)

This diagnostic test evaluates functioning of the auditory (hearing) nerve, and can be used as a predictor of hearing level. It is done while the baby/child is asleep (if 3 months or under) or sedated (over 3 months of age).

ABR testing is commonly performed on:
  • Babies that have failed their newborn hearing screening three times and have been medically cleared of middle ear fluid.
  • Children who are uncooperative for behavioral testing.
  • children who cannot be reliably tested using general diagnostic tests (e.g., due to developmental delay, syndrome-related, etc.).

Testing is performed by placing soft electrodes on the baby/child and an insert tip in the ear canal, which sends a click sound to the ear. Audiologists then measure the neural response and determine the child’s threshold of hearing. It lasts approximately 1-2 hours.

 
Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder (ANSD) Evaluation

Assesses the function of the auditory (hearing) nerve. Abnormal nerve function can make it difficult for children to distinguish one sound from another and understand speech clearly.

This testing is conducted the same way an ABR is done but looks at a different part of the response. The disorder occurs when sound enters the inner ear normally, but the transmission of signals from the inner ear to the brain is impaired (which is typically exhibited by present OAEs and absent or impaired ABR). We routinely do this evaluation as part of a diagnostic ABR. 


Rehabilitation and Treatment

If your child is diagnosed with hearing loss or other hearing impairment, our audiologists will make appropriate recommendations based on your child’s specific needs and impairment.