Many people associate hearing loss with old age, but this is not always the case. Children can be born with hearing impairments or develop hearing loss early in life. If you suspect changes in your child’s hearing, it is important to schedule a hearing test right away since treatment options for children may be a little different than treatments for adults.
How is Hearing Loss Diagnosed in Children?
Children and adults are diagnosed with hearing loss at a hearing examination. Your child will listen to a series of beeps at different frequencies to determine their range of hearing. An individualized treatment plan will be created based on the results of this test. Your audiologist may recommend a comprehensive treatment that involves a family physician, pediatrician, and speech-language pathologist.
What Type of Hearing Aids Should My Child Wear?
Children should be fitted with prescription hearing aids fine-tuned to their specific needs. Prescription hearing aids are sold by licensed hearing specialists and audiologists. They are equipped with the latest technology and a variety of innovative features like Bluetooth capability, long-lasting battery life, automatic adjustments to different environments, and more!
Why Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids Are Not Approved for Children
Over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids were approved by the FDA in October, 2022, for adults over the age of 18. FDA approval was received have extensive testing and clinical trials so these hearing aids are safe, but they might not be appropriate for children. There are a few reasons why children should be using prescription hearing devices.
Speech and Language Development
Children with hearing loss require more specialized care from healthcare professionals and speech-language pathologists who can prevent development delays and ensure the child’s success. Language and speech are important not just for educational success but also for good social interaction with friends and family.
Additionally, children are constantly growing which means their ears and ear canals are growing. Regular visits with a hearing specialist are needed so that the fit of the hearing aid can be checked and adjusted as needed. OTC hearing aids skip over these necessary doctor visits for children and may inadvertently hinder your child’s comfort and ability to hear.
Range of Hearing
Prescription hearing aids have more advanced technology that increases your child’s ability to hear in a variety of settings. Some classrooms have equipment that syncs the teacher’s microphone to a child’s hearing aids. This is especially helpful in noisy environments or when the teacher is speaking at a distance. Only prescription hearing aids can connect to these helpful devices.
Schedule a Hearing Test in New Jersey
Our Doctors of Audiology have extensive experience working with children and adults. Schedule your child’s appointment today at Hearing Doctors of New Jersey to begin your child’s hearing treatment program.