HEALTH CORNER PEDIATRICS
vision & hearing
Tests of visual acuity are used to assess eyesight. Visual acuity testing may be performed on its own or as part of a well child exam. It is generally done to determine if a patient’s vision is sharp and accurate or if it is blurry.
Visual acuity tests can evaluate how well a person can see objects close up as well as at a far distance. Most visual acuity testing involves identifying letters or symbols on an eye chart at a certain distance, but a special camera will be used for screening younger children.
Audiologic evaluations, or hearing tests, are comprehensive diagnostic exams which determine if a newborn or child has any hearing loss, the cause and extent of the hearing loss, and the best treatment options.
Newborn hearing screenings include Otoacoustic Emissions tests, or OAE tests, and auditory brainstem response test or ABR tests. OAE tests use soft acoustics to record the newborn’s reaction to the sound, while ABR tests examine brain waves in order to determine the extent of any hearing loss.
Common hearing tests for older children include a Diagnostic Audiogram, which uses specific frequency and intensity levels to determine what a person can hear in each ear. Normal results of this test allow for a patient to hear a normal speaking voice, whisper and ticking of a watch.
Another common test, known as Tympanometry, provides useful information about any problems in the middle ear. Tympanometry is performed when a probe is placed in the ear, changing air pressure in the ear, and making the eardrum move back and forth. The tests will measure how the ear reacts to different sounds, and pressures.If results of these tests show significant hearing loss, hearing aids or treatment may be required.
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We take care of children from birth through age 21