Tests and Treatments at the Children's Hearing Center

Parents can have long waits to get a diagnosis for their child's hearing problems, dizziness, or both.

The Hearing Center at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh:

  • Cares for a high volume of kids with hearing loss and dizziness.
  • Stays up-to-date on the latest advances in childhood hearing loss.
  • Provides testing and treatment in a one-stop, child-friendly center.

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.

Tests for Your Child's Hearing Loss

At the Hearing Center, we bring all the key experts together and offer access to all needed tests in the same visit.

This cuts down the time to diagnosis and treatment. It also means you and your child miss less time from school and work.

Genetic tests

We offer gene testing when the cause of the hearing loss is unknown.

We take a blood or saliva sample from your child and can alert you to a health condition that may need treatment.

Hearing testing

Our audiologist decides what hearing tests are best for your child's age and hearing problems.

We often do more than one hearing test to get a full sense of your child's hearing loss.

The tests may involve devices or sensors on your child's head or playing tones of varied volumes and pitches.

All tests are completely safe, and you can stay with your child for the testing.


Your child's ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor may order an MRI or CT scan.

These scans can detect an abnormality, a tumor, or another problem in the small ear bones.

Speech assessments

Our speech pathologists can tell if your child's hearing loss is affecting their speech and decide if speech therapy would help.

Hearing Loss Treatments for Kids

We have the latest, cutting-edge technologies to help your child hear and learn from the world around them.

In choosing the best treatment, the experts at the Hearing Center at UPMC Children's Hospital take into account your child's:

  • Hearing challenges
  • Lifestyle
  • Developmental stage

Assistive listening devices

We offer a range of these devices. The most common is a microphone for your child's teacher.

We program your child's cochlear implant or hearing aid to amplify the teacher's voice and reduce background noise.


Our hearing experts use high-tech and innovative methods to help children train their brains to ignore certain sounds.

Research shows this treatment works well for children who have ringing in the ears.

Cochlear implants

Implants help children with hearing loss caused by damage to the cochlea or hearing nerve.

The device skips over the damaged parts of the inner ear and sends signals directly to the hearing nerve.

During surgery, the surgeon implants an internal device to your child's skull bone and positions the electrode to stimulate the nerve. Your child will be under anesthesia for the surgery and can go home the same day.

Your child will need to come back in a few weeks so we can fit the outer part of the device. It sits on the scalp behind the ear — much like a hearing aid — and converts sound to signals.

We'll also book follow-up appointments to make sure your child has the best possible hearing outcome.

Hearing aids

Hearing aids treat mild to severe hearing loss in children. We offer in-ear, behind-the-ear, and bone-anchored hearing aids.

Our hearing experts will:

  • Talk to you about your child's needs and choose the best option.
  • Program your child's hearing aid to heighten the tones your child has trouble hearing.
  • Schedule follow-up visits to retest your child's hearing and adjust the hearing aid as needed.

Speech therapy

Our speech therapists work with kids of all ages and abilities to help them communicate using engaging techniques.

Depending on your child's hearing problem and needs, they may have 1 to 4 sessions a month. Most speech therapy sessions last an hour.

Tests and Treatments for Your Child's Dizziness

Our experts perform a number of tests to diagnose the type and cause of your child's dizziness, including:

  • A physical exam.
  • Bloodwork.
  • CT or MRI scans.
  • Movement tests to measure coordination and see what triggers dizziness.

Vertigo or dizziness treatments

Our Hearing Center offers a range of treatments for dizziness or vertigo depending on the cause.

Common treatments for dizziness include:

  • Antibiotics.
  • Motion sickness medicine.
  • Balance rehab and therapy.
  • If your child suffers from both hearing loss and dizziness, our team will address both issues in the same visit.

Helping Your Child Succeed in School

At the Hearing Center at UPMC Children's, you and your child have access to our education liaison who can:

  • Make sure the school sets your child up for success.
  • Advocate for changes in your child's seat in the classroom and suggest measures to reduce background noise.
  • Train your child's teachers on how to use assisted listening devices.