4 Tips for Selecting a Hearing Aid for Your Child
Choosing the right hearing aid is important regardless of what age you’re diagnosed with hearing loss, but it’s especially vital for children to be fit with the right hearing aids and accessories that meet their unique needs as they grow and learn. If you’re in the process of selecting a hearing aid for your child, consider these four tips.
1. Size is about more than aesthetics
Children who don’t want to draw attention to themselves may be eager to choose a hearing aid that’s more discreet, such as an in-the-ear (ITC) model. Keep in mind that the smaller a hearing aid gets, the harder it is to insert and remove, especially for children who may still lack dexterity. They’re also less powerful and unable to support as many functions as larger devices, so if your child has a more severe hearing loss, a larger behind-the-ear (BTE) model might be best. BTE hearing aids are also easier to custom fit as a child grows and needs new earmolds.
Still, talk with your audiologist about your child’s individual case and which hearing aids they would most recommend.
2. Avoid hearing aids that require manual adjustments
Since it’s harder for a child to learn and remember to adjust a hearing aid based on their setting and hearing needs (for instance, at school versus outside on the playground), it may be best to choose hearing aids with programs that don’t require manual adjustments.
Advanced digital hearing aids automatically adjust volume and microphone direction based on the environment and learn how to optimize the listener’s experienced based on their lifestyle. Although they usually cost more than hearing aids with manual adjustments, the certainty that your child is hearing optimally in every situation is worth it.
3. Choose hearing aids with remote microphones and accessories
It can be difficult enough for a child with healthy hearing to listen to instructions, communicate and learn in environments where background noise and other things can distract them, let alone a child with a hearing impairment. Choosing hearing aids that come with remote microphones and accessories can make all the difference in a child’s ability to hear communication clearly.
With remote microphone technology, the speaker (in this case, a parent or teacher) wears a wireless microphone that directly links to the child’s hearing aid receiver. Accessories like pen, clip-on and touch-screen remote microphones can make it easier for adults to communicate with hearing-challenged children in various settings.
4. Make sure your child is comfortable with their hearing aids
As a parent, it’s important to make sure your child’s hearing needs are met, but getting feedback from children can be difficult. This is where finding an audiologist who has experience fitting children with hearing aids can help. These individuals will know how to ask the right questions and interpret feedback from your child during their hearing evaluation and fitting process and will make sure your child’s hearing aids are comfortable as well as functional.