Do all children with hearing loss wear hearing aids?
No. Many children do initially use hearing aids. Some children may be candidates for other technologies other than hearing aids as they get older depending on the type and severity of their hearing loss. Each child’s needs are monitored regularly.
• Cochlear implants may be an option for children with severe to profound hearing loss in both ears who do not receive sufficient benefit from hearing aids. In the United States, children typically need to be at least 12 months old before cochlear implant surgery can be done.
• Baha implants may be an option for children with atresia or single sided deafness. Current guidelines state children must be at least 5 years of age before the Baha implant surgery can be done; however, some children may use a Baha speech processor on a softband prior to surgery.
Why is it important for my child to wear his/her hearing aids/cochlear implants?
Babies begin developing the skills necessary for language as soon as they are born. They learn language by listening to others talk. Hearing technology (hearing aids and cochlear implants) give your child’s brain access to sound so they can learn to listen. They must learn to listen before they can learn to talk & communicate. Research suggests that there is a critical learning period during which babies learn language, from birth to about three years of age. Research also shows that when infants are aided before 6 months of age, they have the greatest chance of developing language skills comparable to their same-aged peers.
Does a hearing aid correct hearing like glasses correct vision?
Hearing aids can improve access to sounds but do not “correct” a hearing loss. Remember that parts of the inner ear are damaged and may not be able to send a complete signal to the brain. Even new digital technology hearing aids cannot block out background noise which makes it more difficult for a compromised auditory system to focus on understanding speech information. The severity of the loss will often affect benefit from hearing aids.