The Diagnostic Audiology Program at Boston Children's Hospital provides expert, comprehensive evaluation and management of various degrees of hearing loss in infants, children and adolescents. Our specially trained audiologists conduct diagnostic tests to assess hearing disorders, provide guidance to parents and families, and recommend appropriate care for your child's hearing loss. We have more than 11,000 ambulatory visits each year.
One of the Diagnostic Audiology Program's most innovative offerings is our Musicians' Hearing Program. If your child enjoys musical activities and you're concerned that the sound exposures could damage her hearing, visit the program for diagnostic services, as well as fitting and verification of custom hearing protection and in-ear monitors.
Children's Diagnostic Audiology Program offers a convenient walk-in clinic at our main campus (Boston), Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. To qualify for this "no appointment" hearing test, your child must:
- be at least 3 years old
- be developing typically (in terms of language, social skills, etc.)
- have no diagnosed hearing loss
Unique Causes of Hearing Loss
Our Diagnostic Audiology Program conducts unique research to help understand the hearing loss associated with various conditions in children. Our team explores issues like:
the hearing loss associated with chemotherapy and radiation for childhood cancer
the hearing loss seen in children who have undergone certain treatment protocols such as Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO)
the hearing loss seen in conjunction with congenital abnormalities such as CHARGE Syndrome (a rare condition which includes multiple congenital defects of the eye, ear, nose, throat, cranial nerve, heart and often other parts of the body)
What happens if my child has a hearing loss?
Some hearing problems are medically or surgically correctable if they are caused by middle ear fluid. Other hearing problems are treated with the use of hearing aids and speech and language therapy.
If a hearing problem is found, your audiologist and pediatrician will arrange for your child to be seen by an otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat specialist) and will guide you to other services to help your child learn to communicate.
The Diagnostic Audiology Team will:
monitor the hearing loss
provide counseling to you and your family regarding the hearing loss
recommend hearing aids and ways to maximize the use of residual hearing
refer your child for additional language or developmental assessments
direct you to community resources for educational or financial assistance
refer your child to Habilitative Audiology to learn about the option of a cochlear implant if your child has a severe to profound hearing loss in both ears.