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All About
Hearing Aids

What is a Hearing Aid

A hearing aid is an electronic device that amplifies sound at different levels for different pitches. Hearing aids consist of a microphone, amplifier and receiver.

blonde baby girl with hearing aid
  • Microphones - Electronic devices that pick up sound (an acoustical signal) and changes it to an electrical signal in the hearing aid.  There are several types of microphones which can be used in hearing aids. Some microphones can assist with listening in background noise. Ask an audiologist for more information.

  • Volume Up/Program Button -  Used to increase the volume of the hearing aid, it is also used to select different pre-determined programs that have been set up in the hearing aid.

  • Volume Down/Program Button - Used to increase the volume of the hearing aid, it is also used to select different pre-determined programs that have been set up in the hearing aid. 

  • Indicator Light - Different colors will mean different things, ask your audiologist to list what each color means.

  • Battery Door - This is where the hearing aid battery will be inserted, pediatric hearing aids have a locking door to protect your child from accessing the battery.

  • Ear Hook - A plastic attachment that connects to the hearing aid and loops over the top of the ear. The ear hook attaches the hearing aid to the tubing which attaches to the ear mold which is inserted into the ear. 

Image of a generic hearing aid showing the different parts.

How do Hearing Aids Work?

Microphone takes in sound, hearing aid makes sound louder, lounder sound delivered to ear

Types of Hearing Aids for children

right side of baby head with black hearing aid and clear ear mold.

Behind the Ear (BTE)

  • Most durable hearing aid because no electronics are inside the ear canal

  • Best retention

  • Ideal for young children

ear with black hearing aid, showing in the canal receiver

Receiver-in-Canal (RIC)

  • Delicate hearing aid because some electronics are behind the ear and some are inside the ear

  • More discrete than BTE 

  • Ideal for responsible teens

Battery versus Rechargeable Hearing Aids

white adult hands changing a silver colored hearing aid battery.

Battery

  • Child is never without sound

  • Batteries are poisonous if ingested. A child-proof lock must be used for young children.

  • Must buy disposable batteries

Disposable Batteries

PhonakMiniChargerForAudioAndMarvelParadise_image1.webp

Rechargable

  • Family must remember to charge hearing aids every night for the child to hear

  • No choking hazard

How to use:

  1. Peel battery tab right before you are ready to use it.

  2. Allow hearing aid to sit without tab for a couple of minutes to air-activate.

  3. Place hearing aid in battery.

Battery care:

  • Store batteries in a cool, dry place. Exposure to extreme temperatures will shorten their life.

  • Keep away from children and pets, as batteries are toxic.  Battery Ingestion Hotline: (202) 625-3333

  • Batteries are sold at many retailers, including Amazon, Walgreens, and Costco.

Image showing the 4 different hearing aid battery sizes.  The smallest batter is size 10 and shown as yellow, the next size up is size 312 an shown as brown, the next is size 13 and shown as orange and the largest is size 675 and shown as blue.

Hearing Aid Care Tips

image of hearing aid care tips:
water drops - avoid water remove devices before bathing
a dog with a bone - keep out of reach of pets
an aerosol can of hairspray - avoide contact with hair products
a tissue box - clean aid with a soft tissue, no liquid.

Questions to Consider Asking the Audiologist when Getting a Hearing Aid

Image of a dad holding a baby in a front baby carrier that is green, baby is wearing a pink hat and onesie, dad wearing a blue shirt.  He is standing next to a doctor who is wearing a face mask. The dad is surrounded by speech bubbles asking the questions in the next section.
  1. How much hearing loss does my child have? How does that relate to him/her hearing speech

  2. May I have a copy of the hearing test results?

  3. Is the loss permanent?

  4. Does my child need more testing? How often should my child's hearing be tested?

  5. Do both ears have the same hearing loss?

  6. Should he or she have a hearing aid in both ears?

  7. How will the hearing loss affect my child's speech and language development?

  8. What will my child hear with the hearing aids?

  9. How much do hearing aids cost? Can I get help to pay for the hearing aids?

  10. Is there a warranty on the hearing aids? How long?

  11. How often will my child need new hearing aids or earmolds?

  12. What should I do if my child does not want to wear the hearing aid?

  13. What should I do if my child loses a hearing aid or earmold?

  14. Is there any other information I need to know about my child’s hearing loss or hearing aid(s)?”

Adapted from CDC Questions You May Want to Ask Your Child's Audiologist

CARE OF

Tips on how to care for your child's hearing aids.

TROUBLESHOOTING

Tips for troubleshooting when your child's hearing aid is not working properly.

PURCHASING 

Companies who specialize in selling pediatric hearing aids.  Pediatric HA's should be dispensed by a pediatric Audiologist.

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