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Question
Posted by: KAREENA | 2009-07-30

HEARING OUT OF RANGE

HI MY SON IS IN GRADE R RECENTLY THEY HAD A HEARING TEST DONE AT SCHOOL. THE RESULT WAS THAT HIS HEARING IS OUT OF RANGE AND HE MUST SEE AN ENT SPECIALIST. I M SHOCKED HE HEARS US PERFECTLY AT HOME, WE HARDLY EVER REPEAT THINGS TO HIM. HE UNDERSTANDS INSTRUCTIONS AND HAS BEEN CHECKED BY OUR FAMILY DOCTORS ON NUMEROUS OCCASIONS. ANY ADVISE? SHOULD WE IGNORE THE RESULT AS MOST KIDS IN THE SCHOOL GOT THE SAME RESULT?

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Our expert says:
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Dear Kareena

Your son would have had a screening test only, not performed in ideal circumstances but it picks up significant deafness if present. Depending on the severity of the findings a formal audiogram (hearing test) should be performed to exclude a problem. Children in this age group often have a bit of fluid behind the eardrum, a condition called otitis media with effusion. This could eventually lead to other problems if not managed.

One's hearing could be perfect in the normal speech range but very abnormal in the low or high frequencies and will only be picked up on a hearing test. One might not therefore always be aware that there is a hearing disorder because people can hear normal voice.

I would suggest you take him to an audiologist for a formal test in a sound-proof room. This is very accurate and will give you reassurance that he has no underlying problem. The audiologist will suggest referral to an ENT only if there is a real hearing impairment.

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