Hearing Aid Fittings for Kids
Most people correlate “hearing loss” with elderly people. However, hearing loss isn’t limited to those 60 and older. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between two and three of every 1,000 children in the U.S. are born deaf or with some degree of hearing loss. Additionally, children could potentially develop hearing loss later on as a result of infection, medication, genetic predisposition or as a result of noise-induced hearing loss.
Schedule an appointment
Children with hearing loss should see a hearing specialist right away, as one’s hearing ability is directly tied to language development. While developing hearing loss at a younger age puts a child at more risk for developmental delays, the earlier hearing loss is identified and intervention is put into place the more likely the child will return to developmental levels with their peers.
Getting hearing aids
If your child has already been identified with hearing loss and is scheduled to receive hearing aids or a cochlear implant, he or she will undergo another test to ensure the hearing devices are working properly and provide the right amount of amplification for the child’s hearing loss.
Fitting the hearing aids
Hearing aid fittings for children, especially infants or toddlers, can be exciting and special for the whole family, as the little one will likely be able to hear mom or dad’s voice for the first time, depending on the severity of the child’s hearing loss.
There are many methods of testing the efficacy of your child’s hearing devices.
Hearing aid fittings for children vary from methods used on adults, because children typically are unable to stay still long enough, react to responses differently and have smaller ear canals, making it difficult for probes to enter.
Programming the hearing aids
To test the efficacy of your child’s hearing device, a pediatric hearing specialist will make sure the earmolds fit correctly and program the hearing aids according to the child’s hearing loss. To program the hearing aids, the hearing specialist will send sound through the hearing aids to test whether the right amplification is going into the hearing aid. Verification tests show whether loud sounds aren’t too loud, soft sounds are loud enough and average sounds are comfortable to the ear.
If you’re concerned your child may have hearing loss or auditory issues, schedule an appointment with a hearing care provider in your area. The earlier you address any possible problem the sooner and easier it is to treat!