“Children with hearing loss can have trouble with speech, language, and social skills. They may have trouble learning in school. It’s important to have your child’s hearing tested and get help early,” states the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).
Audiologist Dr. Susan Rogan, Susan Rogan Hearing, who practices in Westmont and LaGrange Park, urges, “Early intervention results in a better outcome. The sooner the problem is discovered and treated, the better the result.”
She explains how newborns are tested, and if they fail the screening, are referred to ear, nose and throat doctors, also known as ENTs (otolaryngologists). “All hospitals have high-risk hearing protocols to identify babies who need to undergo more testing. The hearing loss will be evaluated, and medical treatment prescribed.”
Rogan adds, “Kids can be fitted with effective hearing aids. Because ears grow rapidly until age 12 -- changing about every three months -- children’s hearing aids need to be closely monitored. Everyone’s ears continue to grow throughout life, however for adults, the changes are much slower.”
Is it difficult to teach a child to wear his or her hearing aids? “It’s actually easier to have younger children wear their hearing aids than teenagers. Younger kids can get used to them more easily, when they start early. However, with the new styles and colors of hearing aids, plus Bluetooth compatibility, teenagers have more enticing choices than ever before,” Rogan says.
Because there are different types of hearing aids, the best type for your child depends on his or her needs and skills, explains ASHA. “The behind the ear hearing aid is the most common for young children, because it works with many types of hearing loss, and is easier to handle and clean.”