The selection of the right hearing machine is absolutely important irrespective of the age of the user who has been diagnosed with hearing impairment. However, the selection process has to be even more diligent for the children suffering from hearing loss. It is essential that the machine rightly fit in the ear to meet their unique changeable requirements as they grow. If you are on the verge of selecting an aid for your child from a hearing aid shop, here are the things that you must take care of.
• Size matters more than that of aesthetics – Children don’t like people looking at them unnecessarily. And for this reason, they might prefer to use a hearing aid that is discreet. An in-the-ear canal or ITC would be a good option for them. However, the smaller the machine is, the tougher it is to get inserted and removed as well. The issue is even more prominent for children lacking dexterity. Also, such devices are less powerful and unlike larger aids, smaller ones can hardly support different features.
Therefore, if your child is suffering from a severe hearing impairment, a larger BTE (behind the ear) machine would be better for her. Such machines are easy to custom fit. Thus, as the child grows and requires new earmolds, such devices can be customised accordingly. Nevertheless, talking to the audiologist to state your child’s individual needs is highly recommended.
• Aids requiring manual adjustments may be avoided – It is difficult for the children to remember the adjustments needed depending on the setting of the machine and hearing needs. Thus, it is suggested to choose an amplifier with pre-set programs, and so your child doesn’t need to make manual adjustments. Advanced sophisticated digital machines can automatically adjust microphone direction and sound volume depending on the environment. Such machines can optimize the user’s experience based on lifestyle. Though it is more expensive than its manual versions, it is worth considering your child’s convenience.
• Aids with remote microphone and accessories are recommended – It can be difficult for a child even with normal hearing ability to follow instructions, communicate properly and learn in ambiance where loud background sound, as well as other things, can distract them. Now just think about children with hearing loss.
But selecting a hearing machine with remote microphones and accessories can make the real and the most significant difference in the child’s capability to hear clearly and communicate accordingly. With this technology, the speaker (in this case the parents or the teachers) have to use a wireless microphone directly connected to the hearing machine receiver of the child. Accessories such as clip-on, pen and touch-screen remote microphone make it easy for the adults to communicate with the children suffering from hearing impairment.
• The child should be comfortable with the machine – It is important for the parents to ensure that their children’s hearing requirements are optimally met. However, getting feedback from the children, especially the smaller ones, is really tough. And thus consulting an audiologist is of utmost importance. They can fit the children with hearing machines. They also have the experience of how to ask the right questions and get feedback from the child during their session.
As it comes to choosing the right hearing machine for your child, take care of the size of the machine over aesthetics. Avoid buying a machine that has to be manually adjusted. Get an aid with remote microphones and accessories. Make sure your child is comfortable with the aid. Consult a reputable audiologist before making a buying decision.