Planning your audiology appointment

Your baby has received a ‘refer’ result. This means your child will need to get more hearing tests done. You may need to travel long distances for your appointments, so it’s best to plan ahead.

Planning your appointment

1. Confirm your audiology appointment

You will receive a letter about your child’s audiology appointment. If you are unsure about the information in the letter, contact the audiology service about your concerns, or talk to your local health worker or GP.

Be sure to write down any contact numbers you may need while you are away. For example, the hospital, audiology department, the Queensland Hearing Loss Family Support Service and more.

Look for:

  • The date of the appointment
  • The time of the appointment
  • If you can have a support person travel with you to the appointment

2. Travel and accommodation

If you need to ask about travel, contact your local health centre or health worker for more information.

Look for:

  • The name of your accommodation.
  • Details on how to get to the hospital from the airport.
  • Details on how to get from the hospital to your accommodation.
  • Your transport costs.
  • What to bring with you to your appointment.

3. Attending your appointment

Be sure to plan ahead for your journey.

  • Make travel arrangements before you leave. If you need help, talk to your local health worker or GP.
  • Arrive early to your appointment, or if you are going to be late, ring ahead and let them know.

Be prepared for your journey

Indigenous Hospital Liaison Officers

In the video below, you will meet Greg and Lenore who are Indigenous Hospital Liaison Officers. Indigenous Hospital Liaison Officers help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families to plan their child’s healthcare journey and offer support when it’s needed most.

The Indigenous Hospital Liaison Officer contact list provides you with contact details for officers located at hospitals across Queensland.

Your child may need to have a diagnostic hearing test.

What are diagnostic hearing tests?

These tests help to find out whether a baby has normal hearing or is affected by a hearing loss.

If a baby has a hearing loss, the test will show:

  • Whether the hearing loss is temporary or permanent
  • The level or degree of hearing loss (see table below)
  • If the hearing loss is in one or both ears.

Frequency and intensity of familiar sounds

The time needed for diagnostic hearing testing will be different for each baby, but it can take as long as two hours. The audiologist will explain each test. Please refer to the Baby’s Audiology Hearing Test brochure for more information.

As a parent, it is important that you understand the hearing tests and what the results mean.

While your baby may pass the diagnostic hearing test their hearing can change over time, refer to Checklist for your baby’s hearing and speech and if you have any concerns about their hearing, contact your local doctor or health clinic for further advice.

Below is a list of some questions you may wish to ask at your child’s audiology or ear, nose and throat (ENT) appointment.

  1. What type of hearing loss does my child have? Please explain what this means.
  2. Will there be a need for further testing?
  3. Will my child’s hearing get better?
  4. What options are available for my child e.g. grommets, hearing aids or cochlear implants?
  5. Will a hearing aid help my child to hear?
  6. Will the hearing loss affect my child’s development?
  7. Will my child be able to hear me?
  8. How often will my child return for a follow-up appointment?
How do the ears work?

Ears receive sound and change it into signals that the brain can understand

Types of hearing loss

There are three types of hearings impairment:

3 types of hearing loss

1. Conductive hearing loss (CHL)

  • Can happen at birth or later on.
  • This type of hearing loss is caused by damage or blockage to the outer and/or middle ear and results in children being unable to hear loud sounds.
  • In most cases, it is only temporary and not permanent. It can be treated medically, or with surgery. Hearing aids may also help with CHL.
  • An affected child may only hear loud sounds, not sounds at normal hearing levels.

To learn more about conductive hearing loss, visit the Deadly Ears website.

2. Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL)

  • Can happen at birth or later on.
  • This type of hearing loss can be caused by damage to the cochlea or hearing/auditory nerve.
  • This is a permanent hearing loss.
  • An affected child may only hear loud sounds, not sounds at normal hearing levels, and spoken words may be unclear.

3. Mixed hearing loss (MHL)

Sometimes, children may have a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.

Hearing loss can occur both at birth and after birth, with only one ear affected (unilateral) or both ears (bilateral).

Further information

For more information about how to care for your child’s ears, visit the links below.

Information for Families and Carers

Health Professionals and Organisations

For further information see the Queensland Hearing Loss Family Support Service Possibilities and Pathways resource.

Mipla Binna home

Contact us

Queensland Hearing Loss Family Support Service (QHLFSS)

t: 1800 352 075 (toll free)