Children's Audiology


For Community Audiology

  • Hearing assessment of children from birth to school leavers, including children with additional / special needs
  • To include cases of uncomplicated OME / Glue Ear.


  • Children with ear pain, discharge, tinnitus, and balance disorders
  • Children with abnormal ear examination
  • Children with sudden hearing loss.

For Hospital Audiology

  • Children who move into area who use hearing aids and implantable hearing devices (e.g. cochlear implants, Bone Anchored Hearing Aids).

Newborn Audiology Service

Who to Refer

For referral to audio:

  1. Hearing loss in children with abnormal facial anatomy e.g. Downs, Cleft palate, Treacher-Collins, Pierre Robin
  2. Any child with confirmed significant bilateral sensorineural hearing loss.

Please note: when seeking/receiving advice in regard to patient care and making referrals, NHS Connecting for Health Information Governance standards and policies must be adhered to.

Who not to Refer

Not to refer to Audiology but should be referred directly to ENT

  1. Children with hearing loss and frequent ear infections (>5 infections a year) Clinicians see advice section
  2. Children with abnormal eardrums, not explained by glue ear e.g. persistent perforations, attic crusts, retraction pockets, white patches etc.
  3. Children with persistent impacted wax and hearing loss, despite use of wax softeners
  4. Children with persistent glue ear and hearing loss, as defined by two failed hearing tests in a GP surgery (HL>30bB) in a 4 week period(Clinicians, see advice section)
  5. Children with glue ear and speech delay
  6. Children with hearing loss and abnormal ear canals
  7. Children with sudden onset unilateral hearing loss and normal otoscopy

Referral of children for an ENT opinion is advised if:

  • The child has hearing loss suggestive of sensori-neural deafness (Clinicians see advice section)
  • There is a reasonable suspicion of hearing loss plus a delay in speech or language development, poor educational progress, social or behavioural problems of another disability such as Down's syndrome or cleft palate ( Clinicians see advice section)
  • The child has persistent hearing loss detected on two occasions separated by 3 months or more; NICE guidelines suggest a threshold of 25 dBHL or worse in the better ear
  • The child has suffered more than 6 episodes of acute otitis media in 12 months
  • The otoscopic features are atypical and accompanied by a foul smelling discharge lasting for more than 6 weeks, suggestive of cholesteatoma (Clinicians see advice section)


Deafness Research UK

National Deaf Children's Society

The Newborn Hearing Screening Programme's website

British Tinnitus Association

Previously known as the RNID (Royal National Institute for the Deaf)

Last updated: 26/04/2012

Update due: 26/04/2013