What Types Of Hearing Aids Should Be Considered For An Infant?

If you are like most parents, you expected to deliver a healthy baby who would one day run, jump, make messes and loudly sing songs at inappropriate times. Therefore, the news that your beautiful baby has a hearing loss can be terrifying. Fortunately, by diagnosing the problem early and accessing the necessary medical care, your son or daughter may be able to live a normal life and to restore at least part of their hearing. 

Before choosing a hearing aid, it will first be necessary to determine the cause of their hearing loss and to see if there are any surgical options that might help. In addition, it is also helpful to remember that when a baby gets used to wearing a hearing aid constantly as a baby, they are more likely to develop normal verbal skills and to continue wearing the device as they mature.  

What are Common Recommendations?

Today, there are three types of hearing aids that are generally considered to be the best options for infants. It is important to note that your audiologist or pediatrician has access to your child's medical records and therefore, their recommendations may be more useful to your child.

The three types of hearing aids that you will probably be asked to consider are: 

  • In-the Ear       
  • Behind-the-Ear
  • Bone-Anchored Hearing Aids  

Why Choose Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids?

Behind-the Ear hearing aids are often ideal for very young children because of their size and flexibility. Due to their placement outside the ear, fewer replacements or adjustments are required as your baby grows.

They also are resistant to damage and comfortable to wear. Unfortunately, there are some situations that would prevent babies from wearing them or from keeping them on, such as other disabilities or deformations. In that case, you need to know your other options.  

How Useful are In-the Ear Hearing Aids?   

If your baby is not a good candidate for a behind-the-ear model, an in-the ear model is often the next option. One advantage to this choice is that it is more likely to stay in place, due to an infant's inability to retrieve. If it begins to be used at a young age, it is also possible for children to wear them more consistently as they age.

Unfortunately, because they are used in the ear itself, they are likely to need replacement more often. Although the procedure is not physically stressful, it can be expensive. 

Why Choose Bone-Anchored Hearing Aids?

A bone-anchored hearing aid is often appropriate when adaptive devices that are worn on or in the ear are not good choices. For instance, deformations in the external ear canal would make ear models useless. In addition, when the hearing loss is only on one side, a bone-anchored device may provide better results.

A bone-anchored hearing aid is implanted surgically and will eventually merge with the bone behind the ear. It amplifies sound, as other hearing aids do, but it is helpful to remember that it can be removed later on through a simple surgical procedure if the need occurs. This choice is not as common as other devices because it is a surgical procedure and therefore, rarely the first plan for infants.     

Finally,modern medicine has allowed more children to be diagnosed soon after birth. If your child has failed the hearing test administered after birth or you are worried about their hearing later on, it is crucial to begin testing. Your child's future may depend on it.