Children's Audiology (Hearing) Service

Children's Audiology (Hearing) Service

Main Address

We are a Consultant-led, family-friendly service providing support, diagnosis, assessment and treatment for children with hearing loss, tinnitus and balance disorders from birth to 18 years.
Our Newborn Hearing Screening Service is offered to all babies born in Haringey, Camden, Islington, Barnet and Enfield.

Our Children’s Hearing Screening Working Group coordinates all services to support deaf children and their families and includes representatives from health and social care, education, the voluntary sector and parents of deaf children.
We recognise every child, young person and family is unique and we treat them individually. There are several ways to test children’s hearing and your child’s hearing will be assessed with tests that are most suitable for their developmental age or symptoms. The success of some tests can vary depending on your child’s age, how tired they are on the day of their appointment, their interest or attention span. Sometimes it takes more than one appointment to establish reliable results.
The most common tests are described below. Some children may require more specialist tests, which will be explained by your Audiologist.
  • VRA (Visual Reinforcement Audiometry) from around 6 months - 30 months of age.
    Sounds of different frequencies and levels are played through speakers or earphones. A visual reward encourages the child to turn their head every time they hear a sound.
  • Play Audiometry - from around 3 years of age.
    This technique relies on conditioning (teaching) your child to complete an action in response to hearing a sound. The Audiologist will play a game, initially presenting a sound and guiding/asking your child to place a peg on a board or a similar action. It can be useful if you are able to prepare your child for this by playing ’ready, steady, go’ games at home prior to the appointment. This could be throwing a ball into a bucket when you say ‘go’, for example. It would also be helpful if you can introduce your child to wearing headphones, but this is not essential.
  • Pure Tone Audiometry - from 5 years onwards.
    Your child will be asked to press a button in response to a sound and to listen for the quietest sounds they can hear.
  • Tympanometry.
    A small probe is placed in the ear to give us information about movement of the ear drum and the status of the middle ear. It is a test often used to help diagnose a common condition in young children called glue ear.
  • OAE (Otoacoustic Emissions)
    A probe in the ear measures responses from the inner part of the ear (cochlea) in response to a sound. This can be affected by wax or middle ear dysfunction. It does require the child to be asleep or very still and quiet.
  • ABR (Auditory Brainstem Response) Sensors are placed on your child’s head to measure the brain’s response to different frequencies. This test is performed primarily on newborn babies as it requires the child to be asleep. For some babies/young children, one of our doctors may speak to you about using Melatonin to help your child to sleep in order for the testing to be completed.
What to expect at your child's first routine hearing test appointment:

Glue Ear
Your child may be diagnosed with Glue Ear. This is very common in young children and often resolves on its own.
For information on Glue Ear, please see these leaflets in the Documents section:
  • Whittington Health leaflet: Recommendations for maximising a child’s listening skills
  • Hear Glue Ear app We recommend the free Hear Glue Ear app, which is useful in helping you manage glue ear. It includes audiobooks, songs and listening games and gives accurate, up-to-date Glue Ear information and supports learning and development in children to help them avoid developmental delays.

Permanent hearing loss
If your child is diagnosed with a permanent hearing loss, the results of any tests conducted will be discussed with you and we will try to answer all of your questions. Your child may be referred to the local Sensory Support service in your borough.
Please see the Documents tab for links to our leaflets.

Useful links

Where we see patients

St Ann's Hospital
At St Ann’s, we provide hearing assessments for babies and children with GPs in Haringey.
We also provide specialist diagnostic assessments and management of temporary and permanent hearing loss for children with GPs in Haringey and Enfield and for babies referred from the Newborn Hearing Screening Programme. 
Getting there: please click here.

Northern Health Centre
Here we provide hearing assessments for babies and children from 6 months to 18 years with GPs based in Camden & Islington. We may see children over 18 if they have complex needs.
Getting there: please click here.

Outreach Clinic site
Hornsey Rise Health Centre.
Getting there: please click here.

Paediatric Audiology at Barnet and Enfield
Edgware Community Hospital, Oak Lane Clinic & St Michael’s Hospital

At these sites we provide hearing assessments for babies, children and young people (from 6 months to 18 years) with GPs based in Barnet or Enfield. We may see children over 18 years if they have complex needs.
Getting there: Edgware Community Hospital, Oak Lane Clinic, St Michael’s Hospital.

School Screening Service
Children attending schools in Barnet and Enfield have their hearing screened in reception. The school screening may cover children who attend school in Enfield/Barnet but live out of area or are registered with a GP out of area. These children will still be screened and if they require a further assessment, families and the GP will receive a letter stating this.
For more information, see the leaflet School Screening Information for Barnet and Enfield under the Documents tab.

Further Information

Camden, Islington and Haringey

  • Clinic Reception Audiological Medicine - 020 3224 4698
    Paediatric Audiology Secretary - 020 3224 4626  /  020 3224 4689 and 020 3224 4675

Barnet and Enfield Paediatric Audiology

Enfield School Screening Service

  • 020 3316 8074
Monday-Friday: 9am till 5pm
We do on occasion hold weekend clinics.
We accept referrals from the Newborn Hearing Screening Programme, GP’s, Paediatricians, ENT Doctors, Health Visitors, Speech & Language Therapists, School Nurses and other health professionals.
For Haringey, Islington and Camden residents: If you would like to refer a child to this service, please use this online digital referral form. 
For Barnet and Enfield: If you would like to refer a child to this service, please download this referral form.
Last updated04 Jan 2024
Working on it!