A child’s hearing is an important part of early emotional, cognitive and social growth and development, particularly when it comes to learning speech and language. When children experience hearing problems, Kentucky Children’s Hospital partners with the pediatric audiology experts at the UK Audiology Program to provide accurate diagnosis and effective treatment.
Our pediatric audiology specialists have complete access to the full range of diagnostic and treatment tools used by the UK Audiology Program, as well as the expertise in how to use these tools to best serve their young patients. Our audiologists understand the unique needs of children with hearing disorders and work closely with families to provide high-quality treatment and personalized service options.
The UK Audiology Program employs doctoral and master’s level audiologists to diagnose and treat hearing disorders. Some of their services include:
- Auditory brainstem response (ABR) evaluations — During this test, an audiologist places small sticker electrodes on the child’s forehead and behind the ears to measure the brain’s response to sounds delivered through small earphones. This can help estimate a child’s hearing when they are very young and/or unable to complete a behavioral hearing test.
- Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) evaluations — This very specialized type of testing measures how well a child’s brain can make sense of what the ears are hearing. APD evaluations include input from speech-language pathologists and psychologists, who help determine why a child may appear to have difficulties understanding speech.
- Behavioral audiometric testing — An audiologist can measure a child’s hearing by watching how he or she respond to sounds. For this type of testing, the child may listen to sound through speakers with light-up toys, or the child may listen through headphones or small earphones while playing a game (for example, stacking blocks) or raising a hand in response to sound.
- Cochlear implants — If a child’s hearing loss is so severe that he or she receives no benefit from hearing aids, the child is transitioned to the Cochlear Implant team. UK HealthCare is home to the largest cochlear implant program in Kentucky, with audiologists and neurotologists providing personalized, patient-centered hearing care. Our team of specialists work with infants, children, teenagers and adults, offering leading-edge technology to improve hearing and quality of life.
- Hearing aids — If a child qualifies for a hearing aid, our audiologists work closely with the patient and family to determine the best choice of technologies for them. The UK Audiology Program works with several major hearing aid manufacturers to provide patients with multiple options for the latest technology, specially programmed and fitted to meet every child’s unique listening needs and goals.
- Newborn hearing screenings — This is a screening version of the ABR evaluation that is usually performed by a technician in the newborn nursery or neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). A baby who does not pass this screening is referred for a full ABR evaluation with an audiologist.
UK HealthCare is consistently ranked as the No. 1 hospital in Kentucky by U.S. News & World Report. We also have the highest number of providers in Kentucky who appear on the Best Doctors in America list for 2019, with 155 of our physicians making the list. The Best Doctors in America are decided by impartial peer review, and only 4% of physicians receive this honor.