Screening vs. Evaluation
A screening is a test to determine whether your child is at risk for a hearing loss. An evaluation by an audiologist is an in-depth hearing test usually conducted when your child does not pass a hearing screening. An audiologist is a professional who diagnoses and treats hearing and balance problems in people of all ages. An evaluation by an audiologist or “audiological evaluation” provides more information about a child’s hearing than screenings. Audiologists conduct evaluations that lead to a diagnosis. A diagnosis can help to identify the cause of hearing loss, and whether the hearing loss is progressive (hearing loss that gets worse over time), fluctuating (hearing loss that seems to frequently change), or permanent. A diagnosis will help the audiologist determine treatment options.
Treatment options may include tubes, surgery, or hearing assistive technology (HAT). We know these are new terms, so we will define them as we go. In addition, you may choose not to have any medical intervention and adopt a visual communication modality such as American Sign Language (ASL).
Want more information about hearing evaluations and possible causes of hearing loss?
Visit KidsHealth.org to learn more.
You may also want more information about the Ohio Department of Health’s (ODH) Infant Hearing program. ODH’s mission is to protect and improve the health of all Ohioans.