6 Useful Tips for Managing Hearing Loss in Your Child
Regardless of age, managing hearing loss is important. This is especially crucial for children who depend on their ears for early language and speech development. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 14.9% of kids between 6 and 19 suffer from some degree of low or high-frequency hearing loss in one or both ears.
And even the mildest forms of hearing loss can significantly interfere with a child's educational performance and reception of spoken language. For instance, children who suffer from mild hearing loss may be subject to missing as much as 50% of what's discussed in the classroom. Fortunately, when it comes to managing hearing loss for your child, you're not alone.
At North Shore Hearing P.C, we are a team of specialists dedicated to helping individuals with hearing loss in any way we can. We offer a full range of solutions designed to help improve your and/or your child's ability to experience the world. Let's take a closer look at five useful tips for managing hearing loss in your child.
Managing Hearing Loss with Hearing Aids
Unfortunately, there is no permanent cure for hearing loss. There are a few cases where surgery can help an individual overcome it, but for the most part, it’s a permanent issue. Hearing aids are one of the most effective ways of helping your child manage hearing loss. The benefits of wearing hearing aids include:
If you want to learn more about whether or not obtaining a hearing aid is the right choice for your child, don’t hesitate to schedule a meeting with an expert at North Shore Hearing P.C.
Managing Hearing Loss by Cleaning Ear Wax
Ear wax in the ear canal is how your body protects your ear from bacteria and critters, but too much of it can dry up and harden over time. When this happens, it can increase the likelihood of becoming impacted ear wax. Impacted ear wax can cause a range of issues such as earaches, ear infections, and hearing loss. At the same time, it can lead to conductive hearing loss, which is the result of sound being blocked or muffled in the middle ear or ear canal. However, don’t run directly to a Q-tip to clean your child's ears. Q-tips can be harmful to the ear when used incorrectly. Instead, it's best to speak to the team at North Shore Hearing P.C. to learn more about proper cleaning techniques.
Managing Hearing Loss and Moisture Levels in Hearing Aids
While getting water in your ears can be uncomfortable for your child, it can be outright dangerous when it comes to your child's hearing aids. High humidity over long periods of time can result in the accumulation of moisture, which can damage the sensitive chip inside. Not only that, but the batteries can corrode and the moisture can build up in the tubing of the device, affecting the frequency response of the hearing aid. Regularly cleaning your child's hearing aids is an important step toward preventing the buildup of moisture from affecting the devices.
Communication Strategies to Manage Hearing Loss
If your child has been diagnosed with hearing loss, there are several behavioral and environmental strategies you can use, such as:
- Make sure you have your child's attention prior to speaking.
- Always look at your child when communicating with them. You can help them with communication by ensuring they can clearly see your face. Avoid speaking to your child from a distance or from another room. Keep your hands away from your face when conversing. By allowing your child to see your face, it will offer them additional visual clues in the event they may have missed sound. You can help your child by encouraging them to look at you as you speak.
- Reduce additional noises where possible. For instance, you can turn down the TV, turn it off, or move to a different room if it competes with your voice as you're speaking.
- Build a relationship with your child's teacher and ensure they are aware of their hearing loss. You should also discuss the potential implications in the classroom. By having these discussions, your child's teacher will have the ability to adopt proper strategies to help your child.
Alternative Communication Strategies for Managing Hearing Loss
This is probably the most time consuming and tedious of all the options, but sign language can really help children who suffer from more severe hearing loss. There are different types of approaches when it comes to sign language, such as the traditional American sign language (ASL) or lip reading. Some families choose to focus on one method while others combine different communication strategies together. In either case, it is entirely up to you and your child to discover what works best.
Put Together A Healthcare Team
A comprehensive healthcare approach is the best route to managing hearing loss in your child. At a minimum, your child's healthcare team should be composed of three different types of specialists.
Contact North Shore Hearing P.C. Today
Although managing hearing loss in your child may seem overwhelming, the team at North Shore Hearing P.C. are here to help. Contact us today to learn more about how we partner with you and other health care professionals to manage hearing loss in your child.