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Pediatric Hearing Loss Center

Sensorineural hearing loss, often known as “nerve deafness,” is found in one out of every 600 to 1,000 children born in the United States. There are many different causes of such hearing loss, including infection before or after birth, hereditary factors, metabolic problems and trauma.

Diagnosing hearing loss and its causes can be complex and challenging – and often requires the input of numerous specialists. Once hearing loss is identified, families often require support and guidance about managing and educating their child.

A Unique Approach

Rainbow’s Pediatric Hearing Loss Center (PHLC) is an outpatient clinic dedicated to improving therapeutic options for children with sensorineural hearing loss or nerve deafness.

The new center, which is the only one of its kind in the Midwest, unites experts from Pediatric Otolaryngology (ENT), Audiology, Speech-Language Pathology, and Ophthalmology, as well as Early Interventional Social Services, Genetics, and Radiology.

Pediatric Hearing Loss Center's Goals

  • Providing in-depth and multi-disciplinary diagnosis of each child's hearing loss and its causes
  • Communicating and coordinating information to physicians, families, and educators
  • Responding to the needs and concerns of families with hard-of-hearing children
  • Furthering our understanding of hearing loss in childhood to better serve our patients and our families

Individualized Care

Because each child and family has individual needs and concerns, the Pediatric Hearing Loss Center (PHLC) tailors its compassionate, high-quality care for each patient and his or her family.

We begin with an in-depth evaluation and interpretation of each child's hearing loss and related medical history. Our goal is to establish a liaison with the child's existing caregivers in providing early detection, evaluation and treatment of hearing loss. Our evaluation includes a review of information from past or current medical assessments, supplemented by testing and consultation during the PHLC session.

Immediately after completing the evaluation, our experts will meet as a team to discuss diagnosis, evaluation, follow up, appropriate treatment and referrals. A team report summarizing the findings and recommendations will be sent to your family, referring physicians and key individuals involved in your child's care. Our Nurse Coordinator will follow up with families and others as needed to guide you through the treatment process and supply additional information.

Rehabilitative Services

Hearing aid evaluation and fitting or cochlear implant evaluation are offered when appropriate. Information regarding assistive listening devices and special education needs will be coordinated with your child's school to promote the optimal learning environment.

Families are encouraged to submit application to the Bureau for Children with Medical Handicaps to determine whether they are eligible for financial assistance.

Continuing Care

Early detection of hearing loss is a cornerstone philosophy of the Pediatric Hearing Loss Center. But, ongoing follow up is equally crucial. As your child matures and faces new developmental milestones, his or her specific treatment plan will need to be modified. Patients with a new diagnosis of hearing loss will be followed every three months for the first half year, ever six months for a year, and then yearly unless otherwise specified.

Ongoing diagnostics are required to monitor and validate clinical findings. New technologies emerge that may create more or different options for medical and educational services. The PHLC stays on the cutting edge of these new technologies to provide state-of-the-art care for children with hearing loss in Northeast Ohio.

As medical professionals and scientists, our team is interested in pediatric hearing research. The PHLC's team approach to patient care allows us to share information easily and swiftly, enabling us to learn from one another and from our patients. A planned Pediatric Hearing Loss Registry will help us track important new medical or genetic factors associated with sensorineural hearing loss - and provide the most current information and options available in the diagnosis and management of hearing loss.