Planning Your Child’s Treatment
Below is a detailed guide to your child’s treatment for hearing loss.
Find a licensed, reputable hearing care professional for kids.
This could be an audiologist, hearing aid provider, otolaryngologist, or otologist who specializes in hearing loss treatment for children. Most offer a hearing test at no cost, but check beforehand. If you need help finding one close to you, please click here.
Make an appointment for your child’s hearing test.
The hearing care professional will examine your child’s ears for possible physical causes of hearing loss like excessive wax build-up or an infection. A hearing test will also be performed to measure his or her ability to detect sounds at various frequencies or pitches. The entire process usually takes about an hour. It doesn’t hurt and will help the hearing care professional find a solution to suit your child’s particular needs. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and encourage your child to be as open and relaxed as possible.
Choose your child’s hearing aids.
Depending on the test results, the hearing care professional will give you a recommendation of hearing loss solutions best suited to your child’s hearing and personal needs. Do your own research on the solutions available. Check with your health insurance to find out how much of the costs will be covered. The hearing care professional knows best what your child needs audiologically, but you will make the ultimate decision together because you know your child best. It is important and beneficial to involve your child in this process.
Have your child’s ear impression made.
If your child will be receiving hearing aids, then he or she will be scheduled for an ear impression, which is an exact duplicate of the contours of the ears. The ear impression is sent to a hearing aid manufacturer such as Sivantos to make custom earmolds for coupling the hearing aid to the ear. Usually, this only takes a few days.
Schedule your child’s fitting.
The next appointment will be for the hearing care professional to optimally adjust your child’s hearing aid. The adjustments are normally done with a computer, based on an audiogram (a kind of map of your child’s hearing loss), and—depending on age and speech development—your child’s reactions or comments. The hearing care professional will teach you and your child how to operate the hearing aids, and how to hear best in different environments. If your child is young, then you should practice inserting and removing his or her hearing aids and learn how to clean and care for them.
Follow up visit(s).
Your child will be asked to wear the new hearing aids for a few days in his or her regular surroundings. You (or your child, if older) may want to keep a written record of your child’s impressions of the sounds she or he hears. Based upon how well your child can hear in everyday surroundings, the hearing care professional may make additional adjustments to the hearing aids.
Help your child learn to enjoy sound again.
Learning to listen with hearing aids may take time and a degree of patience in the beginning. Be realistic. Don’t expect 100 percent hearing in every situation.