Amplification: This is any device that helps
children hear better by increasing the sounds around them.
Examples: hearing aids, F.M. systems
Amplifier: This is the part of a hearing aid
that increases the electrical signal that comes from the
microphone. The amplifier is located inside the hearing aid.
Aspiration: This is the term used to
describe when food or liquid enters your child's airway through the
open vocal cords while he/she eats or drinks.
Auditory nerve: This is the nerve that is
connected to the cochlea (the inner ear). It takes sound that has
been changed into electrical impulses in the cochlea and moves the
impulses to the brain, so that the brain can interpret them.
Battery: This is what powers a hearing aid.
Cochlea: This is the hearing
organ of the body. It is a part of the inner ear. The cochlea
changes sound waves into electrical impulses so that they can be
picked up by the auditory nerve and carried to the brain to be
Communication disorder: This is a term for a
variety of problems with speech, language and hearing. Examples of
this include stuttering, aphasia, dysfluency, voice disorders,
cleft lip, cleft palate, articulation problems, delays in speech
and language, autism and phonological disorders. The Hearing and
Speech Clinic staff do evaluations for children to figure out if
they have any of these problems.
Decibels (dB): This is the term used for
measuring loudness. A small number of decibels is a soft sound, and
a big number of decibels is a loud sound.
Digitized sound: This is sound
processed through a computer. Sound is digitized when it enters a
Earmold: This is the part of a hearing aid that
connects to a behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid and moves the
amplified sound into the ear canal.
ECMO: This stands for extracorporeal membrane
oxygenation. It is a treatment used for infants and children with
cardiorespiratory failure. An artificial lung ("membrane") that is
outside of the child's body ("extracorporeal") puts oxygen into the
blood and then takes this blood to the body tissues
("oxygenation"). Children are put on ECMO machines for a short time
so that their heart and/or lungs can have time to recover. The most
common reason ECMO is used is for newborn babies with respiratory
failure. It can also be used for severe heart failure, to support
the heart after heart surgery, and while waiting for cardiac
surgery or a heart transplant.
Electrodes: These are small metal plates that
attach to a non-metal surface and conduct electrical current.
Electrodes are used by audiologists during automated brainstem
response (ABR) tests. During the ABR, they are placed on a child's
forehead and earlobes with paste and medical tape.
Hearing evaluation: This is the term for the
group of tests used by audiologists to figure out how well a child
Hertz (Hz): This is a tool for measuring pitch.
The range of human hearing is from 20-20,000 Hz.
Hydraulic energy: This is a type of energy that
is created by moving liquid in a confined space. When sound moves
from the middle ear to the inner ear, the sound changes from
vibrations to this type of energy.
Microphone: This is the part of a hearing aid
that changes sounds into electrical energy. Where it is located on
the hearing aid is important, because the sounds closest to the
microphone will be picked up most easily.
Newborn hearing screening: This is a hearing
evaluation that every baby must have before leaving the hospital in
Kansas and Missouri.
Otologist: This is a doctor who specializes in
problems of the ear.
Otoscope: This is a hand held
tool used by audiologists to look at the ear canal and eardrum.
Penetration: This is the term used to describe
when food or liquid enters into your child's airway while he/she
eats or drinks, but is pulled back out before passing through the
Phonological awareness: This
is a child's ability to recognize the sound structure of
Pitch: This is determined by the frequency of
vibrations of a sound wave. The more vibrations over a period of
time, the higher the pitch. The less vibrations over a period of
time, the lower the pitch. Pitch is measured in Hertz (Hz).
Receiver: This is part of a hearing aid that
changes the amplified electrical signal back into sound. With a
behind-the-ear or in-the-ear hearing aid, the receiver is inside
the case of the aid and is not visible.
Speech-language evaluation: This is the term
for the group of tests used by speech-language pathologists that
measure your child's communication skills.
Sound booth: A sound booth is a room that is
specially made so that no unwanted sounds can enter the room.
Audiologists do many of their hearing tests in sounds booths. The
booth helps them control exactly what sound a child hears during a
hearing test so they can get the most accurate test results.
Tubing: This is the part of the earmold that
connects it to the behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid. It moves sound
from the receiver through the earmold.
Tympanometer: This is a tool used by
audiologists to check how well the eardrum works and to see if
there is fluid in the middle ear. Audiologists also use a
tympanometer to check whether or not a child's tubes are open and
working well. It does this by measuring the ear canal volume.
Unilateral hearing loss: When a child has
hearing loss in only one ear it is called unilateral hearing loss.
If a child has hearing loss in both ears, it is called bilateral