Child Health  |  OME Pathway - Audiometry

Child Health

OME Pathway - Audiometry

Audiometry is best reserved for uncomplicated clinical OME without corroborating history of hearing loss.

Audiometry is not needed where there is reported hearing loss.

Child is <3 years old.  Refer to Audiology (Whakatane or Tauranga Hospital)

Child is >3 years old. Refer to VHT 

  • The above age is a guildeline. Children seeing VHT need to be able to undertand and follow instructions.

  • Audiology assessment is much more time intensive, so best kept for very young children or suspicion of pre-existing hearing loss.

Clinical Knowledge Summaries (CKS) define hearing loss and expected auditory behaviours in children with otitis media with effusion (OME) within the following thresholds of hearing levels (decibels [dB]) [1]:

  1. threshold more than 40 dB:

    • communication, learning, and socialisation significantly affected
    • child understands conversational speech only within a distance of 1-1.5 metres (face-to-face)

  2. threshold of 25-39 dB:

    • has difficulty with selective hearing and background noise
    • has significant difficulty with faint or distant speakers
    • may mimic attention problems

  3. threshold less than 25 dB:

    • may exhibit fatigue due to listening effort
    • may have difficulty with faint or distant speakers

[1] Clinical Knowledge Summaries (CKS). Otitis media with effusion. Version 1.0. Newcastle upon Tyne: CKS; 2007.

Last updated : Thursday, May 18, 2017
Next review date : Friday, May 18,2018

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