Visiting the audiologist or ENT specialist for a hearing test shouldn’t be a source of anxiety for children. The hearing provider doesn’t create pain or discomfort during any of the tests he or she conducts.

While adults may easily understand this, children who have never visited a hearing clinic may feel anxious or uncomfortable if they are unaware of what to anticipate. As parents, it’s important to ensure that your kid is emotionally and psychologically prepared for a hearing test or exam.

You can help your kid prepare for a hearing test by doing the following things ahead of time.


1. Discuss the test with them

Ensure that you discuss the visit with your kid before the appointment. Even if the kid does not completely comprehend why they are being tested, explaining the procedure and what to anticipate may make them feel more at ease.

Keep in mind that some children may connect a doctor’s appointment with the discomfort of a booster injection. Tell your child what non-harmful instruments the ENT specialist may use to examine their hearing and assure them that they will not be hurt.

Also, let them know you will be with them the whole time.


2. Desensitize your kid’s ears

The ears of your kid will get a lot of attention during the audiology appointment. If they’ve never had their ears touched before, the sensation may be unpleasant.

Play a fake ear doctor game with your kid in the days building up to the visit. Look into their ear canal by gently tugging on the upper portion of their ear. Allow your kid to examine your ear as if he or she were a doctor.

If you have a pretend doctor kit at home, use the otoscope to examine each other’s ears. Discuss how the otoscope functions as a magnifying glass and a flashlight at the same time with your kid. It allows the doctor to examine the inside of the ear and determine if it is healthy.


3. Use headphones

If the kid feels comfortable using headphones or earbuds, the audiology test will be more successful. This enables the audiologist to get information unique to each ear. Prepare your kid with headphones or earphones in the days leading up to the visit.

Put headphones or earphones on your kid while doing something they like to help them grow accustomed to having anything in their ears. You may listen to music via headphones, but don’t make it too loud.


4. Practice repeating words on command

Request that your kid repeat words back to you. For example, offer them everyday items and ask them to repeat words. “Say book. Say Mummy. Say, Daddy”.

If they are too young to repeat words, ask him,  “Where is your nose? Where is your mouth?” assisting them to concentrate on listening.  Bring your child’s attention to the noises he or she may hear daily. If the doorbell rings, say something like, “Listen, do you hear that?”


5. Engage in a conditioned play activity

Conditioned play audiometry is a common method of evaluating children. When a kid hears a sound, they execute a basic action, such as placing a peg on a board on cue.

Practice synchronizing a sound with a child’s play. When your kid is cleaning up their blocks, for example, have them wait until you say “beep” before placing each block in the bucket.


In a Nutshell

Following some of these guidelines will make the kid feel more at ease throughout the testing, increase cooperation, and allow the examiner to get more accurate data from the kid to diagnose their hearing correctly.

When your kid has a hearing test, you’ll be amazed at how big of a difference these little things may make.

Additionally, schedule an appointment with an ENT specialist with expertise with children to ensure that your child’s hearing test is a pleasant experience.

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