We have invested in a range of equipment that allows us to assess children’s hearing from 10 months old in a child friendly environment. Susan has been working with children since the early days of her career in Wycombe Hospital, where she worked alongside Wilma Smith, paediatric audiologist. She has adapted a series of assessments to suit children of all ages and has also successfully used the same techniques in testing adults with learning disabilities.
As a practice, we strongly believe in pro-active action with regards to children’s hearing problems. Otitis media, the most common cause of temporary hearing problems in children, usually occurs during a time when good hearing is essential for speech and language development. If the hearing at this critical stage of development is impaired it can lead to future problems at school with speech and attention difficulties, but with careful management and awareness the effects are minimised.
We work closely with the private hospital in referring children for potential grommet operations but we also can work with the parents and schools to improve communication tactics during periods of poor hearing, this can include the loan of small hearing aids or listening devices, which can be used easily in the classroom.
We provide and encourage the use of swim plugs to cut down on the number of ear infections the child suffers with, whilst keeping them swimming at a time when swimming is an important life skill to master.
We also offer advice on noise and ear protection which is particularly critical for teenagers and young adults who are exposing their hearing to extensive MP3 use, live music and particularly if they play instruments such as electric guitars and drums or if they are members of a band. In addition to ear protection we can supply custom-made ear phones for MP3 use; a pair of good fitting ear-phones allow the loudness levels to be set much lower, as no sound is able to escape, whilst providing greater comfort.