Other specialist services

Joint Audiologist –Educational Audiologist service

This is a clinic is run in conjunction with the Hearing Support Service. The clinic has both a Paediatric Audiologist from the Hospital and an Educational Audiologist from the local Authority. The role of this clinic is to see children who have an educational significant hearing loss. This could be sensory neural or conductive and are supported in preschool or school by the hearing support team.

Joint service of ENT, Audiologist and Educational Audiologist

This is a multidisciplinary clinic based in the audiology department but headed by an ENT consultant with a Paediatric Audiologist and Educational Audiologist. This clinic is run for children and babies who have been newly identified as having a permanent hearing loss or have a hearing loss and require further medical support.

Tinnitus and sound sensitivity in children

Tinnitus is the sensation of sound when there is no external source. It can present as a range of different sounds and may be heard in the ears or within the head. It is a common occurrence in adults and overtime we are realising it may be just as common in children as it is in adults. Having tinnitus does not usually mean there is a problem with the hearing system, but the audiology team can complete a hearing assessment to rule out any hearing problems and offer reassurance. If the tinnitus is at all troublesome the team can also provide some child friendly information and advice. We recommend visiting the British Tinnitus Association website for further reading and reassuring children that it is often normal for our ears to make noises.

Sensitivity to sounds is a common occurrence in childhood. Many young children dislike sounds such as handryers, hairdryers and lawn mowers. In most cases this improves with time as children get used to noises and gain a better understanding of what the noises are. Some children show an increase in sensitivity to sounds following an improvement in hearing e.g. when glue ear resolves. This is because things sound louder than usual and this too tends to settle with time. The audiology department can complete hearing tests to rule out hearing loss and provide written information on sound sensitivity in children. For older children who experience sound sensitivity further information and advice can be provided.

Auditory Processing Disorder

APD is difficult to process auditory information when structure and function of outer ear, middle ear and inner ear (peripheral hearing) is normal. Children with APD are most likely to have difficulty in understanding speech especially in noisy environments, like a classroom, birthday parties or crowded shopping centres. They may have trouble concentrating and reading in presences of background noise and may lead to difficulty in understanding and remembering instructions. APD can affect 2 to 5% of school aged children and often share similarities with Autism, ADHA and Dyslexia. Children above 7 year and exhibiting APD symptoms can be seen in non-diagnostic APD clinic for initial assessment by audiology team and if required further referral can be made.