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First Visit

Read this page to find out what happens when you visit the audiologist.

Make an appointment

  • Bring any test results you have.
  • Write down your questions or things you're worried about.
    • Writing them down helps you remember them.

photo of a baby girl in pink

What happens
The audiologist will test your child's hearing. There are different hearing tests for children of different ages:

  • Babies are usually tested with an ABR test.
    • The ABR takes about 1 1/2 hours.
  • Older children are usually tested with a behavioral test.
    • Your first visit may last 20 to 30 minutes if your baby has a behavioral test.
    • Bring your child when he's had a nap and has eaten. The behavioral test works well only if your child cooperates.
    • If your child is crying, tired or not feeling well, he may not act the same way when he hears the test sounds. This makes it harder to say what your child hears or doesn't hear.
    • If your child is not feeling well, you may have to go back for the test later.

The audiologist may also test your child's middle ear.
This test is called a tympanogram.

When you get the results
To find out the results, talk to the audiologist or your child's doctor.

  • Talk to your child's doctor if she ordered the tests.
    • Your child's doctor may want to see the results first.
  • Talk to the audiologist.
    • Ask the audiologist to fax the report to your doctor.
    • Ask the audiologist to ask the doctor to call you right away.
    • Your child's doctor may let the audiologist tell you the results himself.

Other things the audiologists can do on your first visit

  • Fit your child for hearing aids.
    • If you can't come back for another visit, the audiologist can do the fitting on the first visit.
    • Usually the audiologist does the fitting during later visits. By then, you may have gotten over the shock of finding out that your child is deaf or hard of hearing.
  • Tell you if your child needs other tests.
    • The audiologist may send your child to a pediatrician or an otolaryngologist (ear nose and throat doctor). This happens if he thinks your child has a problem with his middle ear.
    • Send your child to an otolaryngologist or geneticist to learn more about your child's hearing loss.

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NIDCD

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
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