One of our friends at the clinic related a hearing loss anecdote. Their cousins were worried about getting hearing aids for Tyler, their six-year-old son. It was their first time to shop for hearing aids and they didn’t have a clue.
This got us thinking. Do parents of children with hearing loss know what to do when their kids need hearing aids? Would they know how to choose hearing aids for their kids?
Choosing the right hearing aids for children isn’t easy. There are several factors that parents like you need to consider. The type and severity of the child’s hearing loss. Their individual needs and lifestyle, and more. Finding the best hearing aid for a child is a crucial decision. It can greatly impact their overall development and well-being.
Additionally, comfort, durability, and ease of use should also be considered. You would want your children to fully participate and engage in everyday activities. The right hearing aids will help do these, as well as maximize their overall quality of life.
What To Expect When Choosing Hearing Aids for Your Child
Hearing loss in children can be difficult to detect. Kids may not always be able to communicate their hearing difficulties. However, there are several signs to look out for. Not responding when called. Listening to the TV or music at a high volume. Or, complaining of ear pain.
If you suspect your child may have hearing loss, consult a pediatric audiologist. Professional audiological services can conduct hearing tests on your child. They can help determine if hearing aids are necessary.
If your child does need hearing aids, there are a few things you can expect during the process. First, your child will have a fitting appointment. This is to ensure the hearing aids fit properly and comfortably. Expect an adjustment period as your child gets used to wearing the hearing aids. During this period, your audiologist will provide ongoing care and support. This is essential to ensure that your kid adjusts to their hearing aids adequately. That they can maximize its full use, effectiveness, and comfort.
Getting The Right Hearing Aids for Your Child: What You Need To Know
When you’re choosing hearing aids, follow these three elements. Comfort, durability, and ease of use. They play a role in your child’s successful adaptation to wearing hearing aids.
But that’s a bit of an oversimplification. Here is a checklist of the factors you need to consider when getting hearing aids for your kids. Following this list will help ensure your child receives comprehensive and coordinated care.
1. Consult with professional audiological services. Contact your pediatric audiologist for a hearing assessment. An audiologist can assess your child’s specific needs. They can determine the type of hearing aid that would be most beneficial. This will be based on the severity of your child’s hearing loss and discuss the best hearing aid options for them.
2. Consider your child’s age and developmental stage. Your child’s age and developmental stage will determine the type of hearing aid to use. Younger children may have different needs and preferences compared to older kids. Age and the degree of hearing loss will determine the most appropriate device.
3. Consider the type of hearing loss. There are different types of hearing loss, including conductive, sensorineural, and mixed. The type of hearing loss your child has will impact the type of hearing aid that is most suitable for them.
4. Consider your child’s comfort and fit. Children can be sensitive to wearing hearing aids. This is why it’s so important to consider the comfort and fit of the devices. Look for hearing aids that are small and lightweight.
5. Consider the durability of the hearing devices. Kids may be sensitive about wearing hearing aids, but they can be rough on their belongings. Shop for hearing aids that are durable and can withstand the wear and tear of daily activities. Choose hearing devices designed to stay in place during physical activities.
6. Consider the technology features. Some hearing aids come with advanced features. They can have Bluetooth connectivity, rechargeable batteries, and adaptive noise reduction. These features will depend on your child’s needs and lifestyle. So these aren’t the priority but they can provide a personalized touch that your child may want.
7. Consider your insurance coverage. Check with your insurance provider. Ask what hearing aid options are covered under your plan. Please note that this might narrow down your choices. Beyond that, the decision is up to you whether to pay out of pocket or not.
Consulting with professional audiological services is the first step. Start with figuring out what your child needs. Once done, pick the best option based on your child’s specific needs, preferences, and lifestyle.
What Type of Hearing Aid Is Ideal for Kids?
As I previously mentioned, durability is an essential feature when choosing hearing aids. The devices should withstand the activities and energy of a young person. Comfort is another feature. Hearing aids must be comfortable to wear for extended periods. Especially as children may be sensitive to having something in or on their ears.
So it’s a good thing that there are a wide variety of options available. The two most common are the behind-the-ear hearing aid and in-the-ear type. There is even another type that is Bluetooth-enabled.
Modern hearing aids have a more improved quality of sound. They are also smaller, more discreet, and convenient to use. BTE hearing aids are smaller and more comfortable. In-the-ear options are nearly invisible to the naked eye.
Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids can connect to mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. This type is often more convenient and preferred by older children and teens. They can stream phone calls, music, and other audio directly to their hearing aids. It makes communication and entertainment much easier and more enjoyable. They are also beneficial for educational and social settings.
Additionally, look for hearing aids for kids with advanced features. Look for brands that can adapt to different listening environments. Background noise reduction and feedback suppression are important. These can be distracting especially for children. Having features that can help reduce these stimuli helps a lot.
Pediatric Hearing Aids: Helping Treat Hearing Loss in Children
Pediatric hearing aids are essential tools in treating hearing loss in children. Addressing hearing loss in children as early as possible is essential. Early intervention helps prevent delays in speech and language development. Especially during their crucial developmental years. The advancements in pediatric hearing aid technology now offer more options. These are available to children of all ages, from infants to teenagers.
The ideal age for a child to start wearing hearing aids can vary depending on their specific needs. It also depends on the type and degree of hearing loss. However, in general, children as young as a few months old can be fitted with hearing aids. There’s no minimum entry age. If you suspect your child has hearing loss, please visit us.
How Are Hearing Aids for Kids Different From Regular or Hearing Aids for Adults?
The difference is a lot. Hearing aids for kids are designed to accommodate their unique needs and lifestyles. They are typically more durable and resistant to damage. The design of pediatric hearing aids also tends to be more colorful. This is deliberate to make them more appealing to children.
Hearing aids for kids also have other features. Features such as feedback suppression and automatic noise reduction. These are often more advanced in pediatric hearing aids. The fitting process for children’s hearing aids is also different. They involve more frequent adjustments, as their ears are still growing and developing.
Another feature is the difference in the programming of pediatric hearing aids. The goal is to provide effective amplification and support for the child’s development. Specific frequencies and volumes are configured into these devices. These are used specifically for speech and language development in children.
Taking Care of Your Kids’ Hearing and Hearing Aids
This step will require two things. First, regular check-ups with professional audiological services. This is to check their hearing aids are properly fitted and functioning optimally.
The second step is teaching your kids how to clean and maintain their hearing aids. Encourage your kids to care for their hearing aids themselves. Reminding them to remove their devices before taking a bath or going swimming. This is important because moisture can damage their hearing aids. Dirty hearing aids can also cause infections.
Teaching your kids about volume control is important, too. Equally important is encouraging them to take breaks from noisy environments. This prevents overexposure to loud noises.
These steps can help your kids maintain their hearing aids. It’s very important to involve your kids in the process. Taking care of their hearing aids leads to awareness of their hearing health. It will empower them and instill good habits for the future.
Put Your Worries at Ease With Professional Audiological Services
If you’re as worried about where and how to start choosing hearing aids for your kids, don’t be. Professional audiological services are available for your child. Ask your pediatrician for a recommendation or check for local clinics near you.
The ideal audiologist would be the one close to where you live. It’s also important that your child is comfortable with them. and whom your child is comfortable with. Pediatric audiologists are trained to work with children. They understand the challenges kids may face when transitioning to using hearing aids. Then you can be confident that your child gets the help she or he needs.
Additionally, your audiologist can provide ongoing support and adjustments as needed. That way, your child’s hearing aids are always optimized for her or his comfort and benefit. Then, your child will thrive and participate fully in their daily activities. If you need a consultation about a few questions, click this link. Let’s set an appointment to discuss your child’s hearing loss and hearing aid needs.