A. Your audiologist should test your child's hearing both ways:
The behavioral hearing test without hearing aids sets a baseline.
A test done with your child wearing the aids shows how much his hearing has improved. This is also called an amplification check or a "functional gain" test. Get this test done every 6 months to find out what sounds your child hears. Your audiologist can then fine-tune your child's hearing aids.
If you aren't sure the hearing aids are working, ask the audiologist to do another amplification check with the aids on. If that test shows that your child's hearing has gotten worse for reasons that aren't clear, ask the audiologist to do another hearing test without the aids.
How old your child is when she starts wearing hearing aids
How much she knows of language, or speaking and understanding words
Speech and language therapy
For example, for children with severe or profound hearing loss, hearing aids help more if they get them when they're still babies. These children also do better if they get extra help learning language.
To find out if the ear infection is causing a hearing loss. This kind of hearing loss is called conductive hearing loss.
If your child has a sensorineural hearing loss, to find out how much loss is cased by the middle ear problem. Ear infections could cause more hearing loss.
Some doctors like to treat the ear infection first. Then they test the child. They do this because when you cure ear infections, you can stop the hearing loss.
If your child gets many ear infections, he may have a conductive hearing loss for a long time. If this happens, your child may need special help to learn language, and in school. Watch your child closely to see if he seems to be having a hard time in school.
Q. The audiologist said she couldn't test my child. Why not?
A. For most hearing tests, don't bring your child in if she is hungry, sick, upset, or scared. Make sure she's had a nap and is in a good mood. If that doesn't work, the audiologist may want to do a test that she can sleep through. These kinds of tests are an ABR or OAE. Your doctor may give her something to help her sleep.