Choosing hearing aids for adults and children is different, and there are several things to keep in mind as a parent who is taking their child to the audiologist. Since he or she will not be able to entirely understand the audiogram or diagnosis, you should be there to pose questions and make sure that you are leaving with a hearing aid that your child will wear. After all, you don't want to spend the money on hearing aids if your child keeps them in a drawer at home.
Children as young as four weeks can be fit for hearing aids, and state-of-the-art technology makes it easier for kids these days to live their lives to the fullest without even realizing they are using an assistive listening device. If kids are trying to cope with hearing loss, it's important to take action so that things like hearing properly in class don't hinder their education in the long run.
What kind of hearing aid is best?
When children are very young, they will likely need to have their hearing aids remade on a regular basis as their ears get bigger. Most commonly, children will use behind-the-ear models for a number of reasons. Consider these advantages to this type of hearing aid:
- It fits and works with various types of earmolds.
- The earmold can detach and be remade as a child gets older so parents aren't required to continually purchase a new device.
- It works with a number of different hearing loss degrees and types.
- Earmolds are comfortable for children because they are made with soft material.
- BTE hearing aids can be used with telecoils or a direct audio input, making it easy to use with other assistive listening devices.
- Parents and caregivers can make adjustments themselves with an easy listening check
- If your child is a bit older and needs hearing aids, in-the-ear devices are most commonly used because they are less noticeable.
Features to consider
Assistive listening devices like T-coils and FM systems are very important for young children. Sometimes hearing in a large room, like a classroom or auditorium, can be challenging for individuals with hearing aids. FM systems decrease the amount of background noise while amplifying the intended sound, like the voice of the teacher. This technology uses a small microphone and a receiver so your child doesn't miss a minute of the lecture. The voice goes straight to his or her hearing aids without other noise interference.
How to promote use
Children may not think that wearing hearing aids is comfortable or fun, but there are a few steps parents can take to make sure that the device stays in their ears. For starters, you can put the hearing aids on your child while engaging in a fun activity and slowly increase the amount of time they are worn until your child wears them all day long. Also promote the idea that parents should be the only people to insert them and take them out.