Ask an Audiologist!

Here at Sound we love to celebrate our other (better?) half, Audiology! Dr. Melissa Wilson-Beer is our wonderful audiologist and the co-owner of Sound Speech and HEARING Clinic.
In honor of National Audiology Day we’re exploring what exactly Dr. Melissa does here at Sound, and why she does it!

Q & A

Why did you decide to pursue the field of Audiology?

I entered audiology because it is a unique mix of art and science - listening to patients and understanding their needs is just as important as the clinical knowledge and technological tools that we use to diagnose and treat hearing loss.

What is one thing you wish parents and professionals understood about Pediatric Audiology testing?

It is perfectly normal for a young child to respond very little - or not at all! - during the assessment. For example, a young child might wear headphones just long enough for us to get reliable responses, but at just a few test frequencies, so we have to follow up with another test. It is the norm, not the exception, that a recommendation is made for continued testing.

What is the ideal age for a pediatric hearing test? How young is too young?

While there is no ideal age, there are definitely easier ages - age 2 years is probably the most difficult :) There is no ideal age because we can test hearing at any age, and no one is too young. We screen newborns for hearing loss before they leave the hospital and we can diagnose hearing loss very early on as well. Infants can be assessed through objective measurements that estimate their hearing levels and then beginning at around 7 months, we can combine such measurements with behavioral observations to make a diagnosis.  

Why do you want to test a child’s hearing if there are concerns about their speech?

For a child to produce a speech sound, they must first hear it. If they don’t have full access to sounds across the sound field, this will be a barrier to producing those sounds that are impacted. We suggest a hearing test to make sure the input (what’s being heard) isn’t impacting the output (what is or isn’t being said).

Thanks, Melissa!