Hearing aids are the most effective and common treatment option for most types of hearing loss, and they are extremely useful for both children and adults alike. Since children’s language and social skills have not fully developed as adults’ have, getting the highest quality of sound possible delivered to your child’s ear is a top priority.
Pediatric Hearing Loss
For a child to communicate in an auditory world providing them access to sound as soon as possible is vital to his or her developmental, learning, and behavioral abilities. Treatment options will be based on the type, severity and frequency of your child’s hearing loss. An audiologist will offer treatment recommendations after learning about your child’s medical history and performing a complete hearing assessment.
Hearing Aid Styles
There are several styles of hearing aids for adults, but children are typically fit with Behind The Ear (BTE) hearing aids. BTE hearing aids sit behind the ear and attach via tubing to an earmold that sits in the ear. This style can be more durable, which is important for children. It is also easy to remake earmolds as the child grows, which is very important, vs needing a whole new hearing aid. As a general rule of thumb kids need new earmolds around the time they need a new pair of shoes.
These hearing aids are the most powerful and effective for relaying consistent, understandable sound. Due to their reliability and power, they are considered the best option for children whose language skills development is a higher priority than cosmetic concerns.
In some cases, especially in older children whose language is mostly developed, a pediatric audiologist may suggest other models of hearing aids for your child. While these hearing aids may not be as effective, they are appealing due to their cosmetics and comfort. Smaller, sleeker styles including In The Ear (ITE), In The Canal (ITC), Completely In the Canal (CIC) and Receiver In the Canal (RIC) hearing aids.
Hearing Aid Accessories
Along with your child’s hearing aids, there are a number of important accessories that can improve language and learning. Children and adults alike commonly use classroom-specific hearing aid accessories, as classes and lecture halls prove to be some of the hardest places to focus for those with hearing loss.
For older children who understand their hearing loss, wireless remote control accessories and apps allow for precise hearing aid adjustments without having to touch the tiny and delicate controls on the hearing devices themselves. Other similar accessories can allow your child to wirelessly connect directly to important equipment like televisions, cell phones, computers and MP3 plays, which will help them relate more easily to their peers and family members.
Call Willamette ENT & Facial Plastic Surgery at (503) 581-1567 for more information or to schedule an appointment.
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