Questions to ask when you are at the hearing aid appointment

  1. How do I check to be sure that the hearing aids are working properly at home? [LEARN MORE]
  2. How often does the audiologist need to check or adjust the hearing aids and retest my child’s hearing? [LEARN MORE]
  3. How often should my child wear the hearing aids? [LEARN MORE]
  4. How often will we need new earmolds? [LEARN MORE]
  5. What are the differences between hearing aids and cochlear implants (surgically implanted electronic devices)? [LEARN MORE]
  6. What can my child hear or not hear with the hearing aids?
  7. Should my child wear the hearing aids when playing sport activities?
  8. What should I do if my child’s hearing aids are lost or damaged? [LEARN MORE]
  9. What should I do if my child does not want to wear the hearing aids? [LEARN MORE]
  10. What tips do you have about care and use of the hearing aids? [LEARN MORE]

Keep in mind:
  • It is important that your child wear his or her hearing aids during all waking hours and that the hearing aids are in good working order.
  • Your child’s hearing aids need to be checked every morning.
  • You can check your child’s hearing aids by listening to them using a special stethoscope and doing a daily sound check using the Ling 6 sounds.
  • The audiologist should provide you with a kit that has a stethoscope and other tools to care for your child’s hearing aids.
  • The audiologist and your child’s speech-language pathologist and/or teacher can support you as you learn how to manage your child’s hearing aids.
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Keep in mind:
  • Hearing and hearing aids need to be tested often for young children because
    • hearing aids can break down at any time;
    • it is important to your child’s communication and language development to identify changes in hearing or hearing aids quickly.
  • Expect to have your child’s hearing and hearing aids checked approximately
    • every 1 to 2 months during the first year
    • every 3 months from 12 to 36 months of age
    • every 6 months between 3 and 5 years of age and then annually.
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Keep in mind:
  • To learn spoken language, your child will need to wear the hearing aids every waking hour so that he or she has consistent access to sound.
    • Children with hearing loss require more exposures to a word than children with normal hearing in order to learn it. (Pittman, 2005)
  • It is important that your child is aware of environmental sounds; lack of awareness compromises his or her safety—for example, when crossing a busy street.
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Keep in mind:
  • It is important that your child’s earmolds fit well. This affects the quality of the sound that your child hears.
  • As your child grows, the earmolds will need to be replaced. For young children, the earmolds need to be replaced frequently. As a rule of thumb, your child’s earmolds may need to be replaced about
    • every month for ages birth to 12 months
    • every 2 to 3 months for ages 1 to 3 years
    • every 6 months for ages 3 to 5 years and then annually thereafter.
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Keep in mind:
  • Cochlear implants are considered when the child has severe or profound hearing loss and receives little or no benefit from hearing aids.
  • Cochlear implants are currently approved for children 12 months of age and older.
  • A 3- to 6-month trial period with hearing aids is recommended before a child can be considered for a cochlear implant.
  • Talk to your child’s ear, nose, and throat doctor and audiologist if you have more questions about cochlear implants.
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Keep in mind:
  • All new hearing aids come with insurance that will cover the cost of replacement if they become lost or damaged. This insurance policy can be extended after the first 2 years.
  • You may also be able to add the hearing aids to your homeowner’s insurance policy.
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Keep in mind:
  • Hearing aids should be worn whenever your child is awake. Consistent access to sound is needed for speech and language development.
  • Tell your audiologist if keeping the hearing aids on is a problem. The hearing aid settings may need to be adjusted or the earmolds may not fit well.
  • It is not unusual for young children to go through periods when they pull off their hearing aids, and there are strategies you can use to keep the hearing aids on.
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Keep in mind:
  • Young children who use hearing aids are not able to tell their parents and other caregivers when the hearing aids are not working correctly.
  • Hearing aids should be checked every morning, before intervention appointments, before class, and any time concerns come up.
  • You and your child’s teachers or interventionists should learn about your child’s hearing aids and how to take care of them.
  • Hearing aid batteries can be dangerous if swallowed.
  • Talk with your audiologist about obtaining a hearing aid care kit. This kit will include a listening stethoset, a battery tester, a wire loop and brush to remove wax, and an air blower to remove moisture from the earmold tubing.
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