Most children who are born with a hearing loss can be diagnosed through a hearing screening. In other cases, hearing loss in children is caused by factors like infections or trauma, and the problem doesn’t emerge until later. At Nemours, we take a team approach to caring for your child, using the most innovative pediatric assessment techniques to determine a child’s hearing needs.
Early identification and management of hearing loss in children is crucial to minimizing delays in speech, language and cognitive development. Team members from different specialties across Nemours collaborate to create solutions to treat and meet your child’s needs.
Health professionals who may be involved with diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss in children include:
- ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctors
- speech and language pathologists
- behavioral health experts
- deaf educators
- neurologists (doctors who treat problems of the nervous system)
We also strive to make things as easy and convenient as possible for you and your child. For example, because our doctors and therapists are all under one roof, your child can often have multiple appointments scheduled in one day.
For Appointments: (407) 650-7715
Hours: Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- 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
Bring these forms for your first appointment:
New Patient Forms
Returning Patient Forms
- Patient Presents Without Legal Guardian (PDF)
English | Spanish
Note: A parent or legal guardian must be with a child for a first visit.
Resources for Patients & Families
Hearing loss is very common in children. If your child has trouble hearing, our experts can help. Our board-certified pediatric physicians — including otolaryngologists, otologists and neurotologists — are fellowship-trained to evaluate, diagnose and treat children of all ages with hearing loss. For your convenience, many of our ENT doctors, certified audiologists and speech pathologists also see kids at Nemours specialty care locations in Lake Mary and Melbourne.
Hearing Loss and Auditory Disorders in Children
If your child has hearing loss, it can affect their speech and learning development. Early identification and management is important. Types of hearing loss can include sensorineural (resulting from genetics, or due to infection or a chronic condition, etc.), noise-induced and mixed hearing loss. What’s perceived as symptoms of hearing loss can also be the result of an auditory disorder.
Children with auditory processing disorder or "APD" (also called central auditory processing disorder or "CAPD") have trouble analyzing or making sense out of what they hear. Most kids with APD do not have hearing loss, rather they have difficulty identifying the differences between sounds in words. Some kids with CAPD may have a hard time paying attention, especially in noisy places, and they may experience challenges with reading, writing, speech or language.
Auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder (ANSD) occurs when sound enters the inner ear normally, but signals sent to the brain are scrambled. Abnormal nerve function can make it hard for kids to tell one sound from another and to understand speech. Most kids with ANSD are born with it, but symptoms can develop at any age.
How We Treat Hearing Loss in Children
At Nemours, we work closely with you as well as care providers from different specialties, if needed, and use advanced pediatric testing techniques and equipment to determine your child’s hearing needs.
Assistive Technology for Hearing Loss
Hearing aids are the most common treatment for hearing loss in children. They amplify sounds by using a small microphone, amplifier and receiver. At Nemours, ENT specialists fit hearing aids for children of all ages, including infants and teens. Our program is designed to closely monitor your child and provide comprehensive, long-term support and care.
There are several types of hearing aids. Some are worn on the body, while others fit behind the ear or inside the ear. If your child has hearing loss in both ears, two hearing aids are usually worn. No single style is best — hearing aids should be selected based on your child's individual needs. Options include:
- behind-the-ear (BTE): a common choice for children, because they are flexible and allow for ear growth. They can be used for all degrees of hearing loss, from slight to profound (severe).
- in-the-ear (ITE): these hearing aids are custom made to fit into the concha (the bowl of the ear) and the ear canal.
- in-the-canal (ITC): devices custom made to fit in the ear canal only.
Frequency Modulated (FM) Systems
Hearing aids are the best all-around solution for kids with hearing loss, but other assistive listening devices (ALDs), like frequency-modulated (FM) systems, can help children who are not helped by hearing aids or who have trouble hearing in noisy settings. FM systems can also be used by children with hearing aids.
Implantable Bone Conduction Hearing Devices
We offer two implantable (surgically placed) hearing devices for children five years of age or older with conductive or mixed hearing loss. These devices also help children with single-sided deafness. Both devices can also be worn externally in a softband if your child is younger than five years old.
The bone-anchored hearing aid (BAHA) is a surgically implanted device designed to stimulate the cochlea by transmitting sound waves though the bones (bone conduction), and bypassing the outer and middle ear.
The Sophono is an innovative, abutment-free device which uses small implantable magnets to send sound vibrations directly to your child’s ear. A minor surgical procedure places small magnets against the skull, just under the skin. A processor is then fitted about four weeks after the system is implanted.
Cochlear Implants for Children
In cases where hearing loss is severe and even the most powerful hearing aids can't amplify the sound enough, a cochlear implant may be recommended.
Cochlear implants are surgically implanted devices that bypass the damaged inner ear and send signals directly to the auditory nerve. A small microphone behind the ear picks up sound waves and sends them to a receiver that is placed under the scalp. This receiver then transmits impulses directly to the auditory nerve. These signals are perceived as sound and allow a child to hear.
Our cochlear implant team includes experienced doctors and specialists who conduct evaluations and provide surgery and pre- and post-implant care, including programming and rehabilitation. We are dedicated to creating solutions that meet your child’s unique needs and providing long-term care and support for you and your family.
In addition to improving your child’s hearing through the use of hearing aids and other amplification devices like cochlear implants, your child may also benefit from auditory-verbal therapy provided by certified speech and language therapists (also called speech pathologists). Auditory-verbal therapy teaches your child to use their residual hearing, and their hearing aids or cochlear implants, to understand speech and speak clearly.
The goal of auditory-verbal therapy is to help your child sharpen their communications skills through innovative and interactive methods, so they can attend school, enjoy socializing and lead a happy and fulfilling life.
A Hospital Designed by Families, for Families
At Nemours Children’s Hospital, family-centered care is at the heart of everything we do. In fact, families helped shape the unique amenities and convenient services that make our hospital like no other in the region.
You’ll feel right at home in one of our private patient rooms designed with input from families who know what it’s like to have a child in the hospital.
Our large, comfortable, single-patient rooms have sleeping accommodations for two parents, a private bathroom, wireless Internet access, connections for DVD players and game systems, and two flat-screen TVs.
Other in-room features include:
- full floor-to-ceiling windows for natural light
- refrigerator for family meals and snacks
- wardrobe storage for personal items and a hotel-style safe
- GetWellNetwork interactive television (uniquely based on your child’s age, medical condition and more) and allows your child to watch TV, surf the Web, check e-mail, play music and games, and learn about your Nemours health care team.
Our “hospital within a garden” setting features many places for you and your family to go for fresh air and relaxation, including a one-acre interactive sensory discovery garden or one of our rooftop gardens on the second and fourth floors.
We have many more comforts and amenities such as:
- complimentary valet and parking
- kid-friendly commons areas for siblings
- café and coffee shop
- nondenominational chapel
- concierge services
If your child needs medical imaging, we offer some of the area’s most advanced pediatric radiology services here on campus at Nemours
Our unique services include:
- interventional radiology: Our team of experts uses image guidance to diagnose and treat diseases and tumors throughout the body. Certain conditions that previously required open surgery can now be treated by Nemours pediatric interventional radiologists. We are very fortunate to have the only dual-trained pediatric diagnostic and interventional radiologist in the state.
- neuroradiological or cardiovascular imaging, and fetal MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): Our subspecialty-trained pediatric radiologists see children with complex conditions who require this highly specialized imaging.
- Central Florida’s only 256-slice Brilliance iCT Scanner: We are one of only a handful of children’s hospitals in the country to have this latest generation CAT (or CT) scanner that scans faster than most machines and produces excellent images in a much shorter time with much less radiation exposure for the child.
Our team of board-certified pediatric radiologists and pediatric radiologic technologists are experts in the safe medical imaging of children of every age, even newborns.
We have also pledged our commitment to the “Image Gently” campaign of the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging, which is increasing awareness of the opportunities to promote radiation protection in the imaging of children.
At Nemours, we want to hear your concerns and share with you everything we can about your child's condition and treatment. If English is not your first language, we'll make sure you understand what to expect — in your language.