Deafness/Hearing Impairment/hearing evaluation of my son


dear sir, my 3 and half year old son does not speak as yet and we have always been worried about his hearing. we got a BERA test done recently which shows him to have mild conductive hearing loss in both ears (for the right ear wave 5 could be recorded till 35dbnhl with click stimulus at the rate of 19.3/s with refraction clicks.

and for the left ear, wave 5 could be recorded till 40dbnhl with click stimulus at the rate of 19.3/s with refraction clicks.

please explain what these results mean, is this hearing loss significant to cause delay in his speech development.

also he is always down with upper respiratory tract infections and we have always been worried about his hearing abilities. if you want i can send the bera report to you too.
please advise.

A mild conductive hearing loss is enough to cause speech delay in your child.  You are correct in being worried about his speech as he should be talking and using several words by now.  It is likely that he has had fluid back behind the eardrums which causes a persons hearing to be temporarily impaired.  Once the fluid is cleared then the hearing is usually normal again.  Children tend to keep fluid behind their eardrums often.  This happens because the child anatomy doesn't allow the fluid to drain out on its own like it does when we become adults.

The BERA test indicates mild conductive and that's not bad but does need to be fixed.  The conductive is probably from fluid and his doctor needs to decide how to get the fluid out of there.  The hearing test should be repeated once the fluid is gone just to make sure the hearing returned to normal.  They may do a round of antibiotics to possible put tubes in his ears.  These are our most common treatments in the US.

Conductive hearing loss is not permanent hearing loss and that's the good news.  If your son has a lot of respiratory infections then he might develope conductive hearing loss again with each this may not be a one time fix but rather something you have to stay on top of until he outgrows them or when his anatomy changes and his ears drain on their own.

Once the ears are cleared of the conductive loss, his speech should take off and usually these kids catch up to their peers in time.

Thank you for your question.  Kelley Linton, AuD, Doctor of Audiology

Deafness/Hearing Impairment

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Dr. Kelley Linton


I'm an audiologist in private practice in Arkansas. I graduated from the University of Florida medical school. I specialize in hearing loss; hearing rehabilitation; hearing aids; noise induced hearing loss; occupational noise exposure; OSHA guidelines and regulations; hearing protection; tinnitis; newborn hearing testing; children and hearing loss and diagnosis and etiology of hearing loss.


I've been a practicing audiologist for 20 years and have owned a private practice for 14 years. I am also an audiologist in the United States Army where I teach DOD hearing conservation regulations and manage 3000 DOD employees at an army industrial facility.

Arkansas Academy of Audiology American Academy of Audiology Academy of Doctors of Audiology American Speech and Hearing Association National Hearing Conservation Association

Journal of the Academy of Audiology Southwest Times Record, Fort Smith, Arkansas Press Argus Courier, Van Buren, Arkansas

Au.D. - Doctor of Audiology, University of Florida American Academy of Audiology fellow member Audiology Board Certification American Speech and Hearing Association certification Arkansas State Audiology license-current CPT United States Army Medical Corps

Awards and Honors
American Speech and Hearing Association "ACE" award x 7 years United States Army Accommodation Award Arkansas Academy of Audiology elected board of director x 3 years Better community award, Fort Smith, AR for volunteer audiology service to free community health clinic

Past/Present Clients
Serving newborn to geriatric ages.....unable to provide specific names.

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