Your Child's First Visit to the Hearing Center at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh

Before Your Child's Hearing Center Visit

A member of our team will read your doctor's referral letter or discuss your child's hearing issues with you over the phone. This way, we can be sure to schedule all tests and assessments on your first visit if we can.

Contact the Hearing Center to Make an Appointment

To make an appointment for your child, call 412-692-5460 and ask to speak to the Hearing Center Coordinator.

Please gather past hearing tests, medical records, and anything else that might help your child's care team.

At your first appointment, we will make copies of the records and give them back to you.

Also bring your health insurance card to your first appointment.

Before the appointment, we'll work with you to make sure your health plan will cover our services. This will avoid any problems or unforeseen costs to you.

You should arrive 30 minutes before your appointment to allow time for parking and registration.

During Your Child's Visit to the Hearing Center

Your child will meet with an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor and an audiologist.

The ENT doctor will check your child's ears and may order scans to learn the cause of the hearing loss. They may also discuss genetic tests with you to see if a gene disorder could be behind the hearing loss.

If the doctor suspects the diagnosis involves more than the ear, your child may see a neurologist, eye doctor, or other expert.

All of our experts focus on children and take a gentle and kind approach. They work together to reduce the number of appointments. And they provide a full and precise diagnosis as fast as possible.

The audiologist, or hearing expert, will test your child's hearing using approaches targeted to your child's age and developmental stage.

The hearing tests are safe and painless.

Both the hearing expert and ENT doctor will use the results to decide the best treatment plan for your child.

In many cases, we'll diagnose your child's hearing loss and discuss treatment options with you at the first visit.

We may fit your child for a hearing aid or schedule cochlear implant surgery.

Sometimes, we'll wait for imaging results before we suggest treatment.

If your child has speech challenges, we can arrange an assessment with our on-site speech therapists.

Your first visit will take about an hour.

After Your Child's Hearing Center Visit

If we fit a hearing aid for your child, we will book a follow-up appointment when the device arrives.

We'll test your child's hearing with the hearing aid and adjust it based your child's needs.

If we recommend a cochlear implant for your child, we will book the surgery. Children do not feel any pain during the surgery and can often go home the same day.

A few weeks after surgery, your child's audiologist will add the outer part of the cochlear implant. Then they'll turn it on and test it.

We wait to turn the implant, so the inner ear has time to heal from the surgery.

Our Hearing Center team will continue to check your child's hearing as long as needed.

Our education liaison will work with you, your child, and your child's teachers to support your child's learning needs.