Hearing-aids can be challenging for the families of children whose deafness is newly-confirmed. Parents in Ireland have stories of no-one showing them how to put hearing aids in, when the aids are first received. At this time, the last thing a family needs is a device that beeps or buzzes because it’s put on or fits incorrectly.
Parents aren’t always told about the need for ear-moulds to fit tightly, how aids can fall out of tiny ears – or be removed by a child. Hearing-aids have benefits, but parents can find them tricky to manage. Here’s some help.
Hearing-aids need care, just like mobile phones (some parts are similar).
- Wash the ear-mould and tubing – not the aid (wipe with a dry cloth)
- Store aid/s in a dry-box (ask the clinic) at night to prolong their life
- Have hearing-aid/s checked at the clinic every 3 to 6 months
- Keep a battery-tester to check issues are with batteries, not aids
The essential part of a hearing-aid fitting! Earmoulds fit in the ear, as part of a hearing-aid and the two are linked by a very thin plastic tube.
- Moulds need to fit tightly to cut the risk of feedback (a buzz/whistle)
- Two or more ‘tries’ may be needed to get well-fitting ear-moulds
- Different moulds can be used on one aid (in case of allergies/soreness)
- Anti-allergenic coatings are available if your child’s skin is sensitive
- New moulds may be needed every quarter as children (and ears) grow
- Coloured ear-moulds (see picture) may encourage aid-wearing
Do The Ear-Moulds Hurt When Worn?
New ear-moulds for childrens’ hearing-aids may be uncomfortable at first, especially if a new pair is slightly too tight. We suggest:
- a dab of vaseline or baby oil to ease the mould into the ear
- building up the time the new mould/s are worn every day
- swapping ‘old’ moulds with new for some of each day, if possible
- Otoferm sealing creme, to cut feedback from an older, loose ear-mould
- for any sore areas inside the ear, try Hydrocortisone 1% cream
- This tube links the mould to the aid, and has a role in sound quality
- Check tubing often for water/wax & clean with tools from the clinic
- Replace tubing every 3-6 months as it shrinks & hardens over time
Hearing-Aid Not Working, Or Making Noises?
- Check the battery in the tester & the tubing, for possible obstruction
- If the aid is set too low, your child’s residual hearing may be restricted
- Digital hearing-aid batteries may cut out more quickly than analogue
- Noisy aid? Check volume, ear-mould fit and tubing condition (blocked?)
– Parents’ Pack: When Deafness Is Newly Confirmed
– One Parent’s Feedback: National Audiology Review
– Hearing Aids + Learning = Education