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Monitoring the hearing of children with Down’s syndrome

All children with Down’s syndrome need their hearing tested on a regular basis. If your child passed their new born hearing test, they will have a follow up hearing test at 8 months old at Sheffield Children’s Hearing Services.

Why do they need a further hearing test?

This is because children with Down’s syndrome tend to have more problems with ‘glue ear’. This is a build up of sticky fluid behind the ear drum. This is common in childhood, but it can be a particularly common problem in children with Down’s syndrome, and can carry on into adulthood. Children with Down’s syndrome also have more risk of developing permanent hearing loss over time. Poor hearing can make speech development harder.

How often will my child need a hearing test?

If their hearing stays normal, we still want to see them every 6 months until they are 4 years old, and then once a year until 16 years old.

Once they reach 16 years old we will start the process of transfer to the adult service. They will continue to need hearing tests because adults with Down’s syndrome have a higher chance of developing hearing problems at any age.

What should I do if I am worried about my child’s hearing between tests?

If you have any concern about your child’s hearing, you can arrange an earlier appointment by telephoning Hearing Services at Sheffield Children’s on 0114 271 7450 or by emailing scn-tr.audiology@nhs.net

What will happen if my child is not hearing well?

If our tests show a hearing loss, there are a number of possible approaches to treatment. We will talk to you about which treatments would be good for your child. They can include a referral to the ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist for grommets, or a trial of hearing aids with support from a specialist teacher.

What should I do if I have any further questions?

If you have any questions about today’s test results, or about this resource, please ring us to talk about it further with an audiologist.

You can also order an information booklet on ‘Down’s syndrome and childhood deafness‘ from the National Deaf Children’s Society, on www.ndcs.org.uk or by phoning the NDCS helpline on 0808 800 8880.

Contact us

Telephone 0114 271 7450 and ask to speak to an audiologist.

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Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

Resource number: AUD11

Resource Type: Article

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Telephone : 0114 271 7450

Email: scn-tr.audiology@nhs.net


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