Hesperian Health Guides

If you decide to get a hearing aid

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HealthWiki > Helping Children Who Are Deaf > Appendix A: Hearing Aids > If you decide to get a hearing aid

If you decide a hearing aid is right for your child, be sure that you receive information along with the aid so you can learn:

  • how to help your child get used to wearing a hearing aid
  • how to care for the hearing aid
  • how to check the aid each day to be sure it is working
  • what to do when the aid does not work well

Ways to help your child get used to wearing a hearing aid

A child wearing a hearing aid playing on a slide.
If your child wears the hearing aid while he is enjoying himself, it is less likely to bother him.

Every child reacts differently to wearing hearing aids. Some children like them right away, some children find them uncomfortable at first. At first, put the hearing aid on for only 15 to 30 minutes. Gradually increase the amount of time your child wears the aid. It may take many weeks for him to get used to wearing it.

A man speaking while washing dishes near his daughter, who is wearing a hearing aid.
You didn't know that washing dishes makes sounds, did you?

Start using the hearing aid in a quiet environment to help your child become aware of the new sounds she can hear. Help her notice sounds by bringing your child closer to the sound or point the sound out to her.

How to know if your child is hearing new sounds

Do not expect your child to react to sounds immediately. Your child will have to learn to be aware of sounds after his hearing aid is put on. Children's reaction to sound depends on their age and how much they can hear.

A man speaking while sitting with his wife, his oldest daughter, and his youngest daughter, who is wearing a hearing aid.
Tuan Jai doesn't seem to be hearing anything. She doesn't look at the spoon when I tap it on the bowl.

You may have to watch carefully to see your child's reactions. She may:

  • blink her eyes or stop what she is doing.
  • enjoy playing with toys that make noise.
  • cry when she hears a sound.
  • look up or turn around when she hears a sound.

It may be weeks or months before you see your child react to sound.

Help your child understand the new sounds she is hearing

A woman speaking to her daughter who is wearing a hearing aid in a market.
Sonal, I know there is a lot of noise, but try to hear Mr. Murthy talking to you.
At first, she may find it uncomfortable to hear sounds, because she is used to living in a quieter world.

Even if a hearing aid helps your child hear sounds, she may not understand the sounds she is hearing right away. Your child will need practice listening to sounds with the hearing aid. See Chapter 6 for activities to help your child listen.