Call Olive Support
Mon - Fri: 9AM - 6PM (MST)

(708) 847-3208

  • My Cart (0)
  • Your Cart is Empty

How to get child to wear hearing aids

How to get child to wear hearing aids


Children often don't want to wear hearing aids because they don't want to stand out from their peers. The main reason for their aversion is probably the fear of others' judgment.

This text provides an overview of the definition of pediatric hearing loss, main causes of pediatric hearing loss, suitable types of hearing aids for children, and helpful tips on making children to wear hearing aids.



What is pediatric hearing loss?


Pediatric hearing loss refers to hearing impairment or deafness in children. It is a condition where a child experiences difficulty in hearing sounds and speech properly.

Pediatric hearing loss can occur in one or both ears and can vary in severity, ranging from mild to profound.

Hearing loss in children can have various causes, including genetic factors, infections (such as meningitis or ear infections), exposure to certain medications or toxins during pregnancy, complications at birth, and sometimes it may occur without a specific identifiable cause.


Early detection and intervention are crucial to help children with hearing loss develop language and communication skills effectively.

Treatment options may include hearing aids, cochlear implants, speech therapy, and other forms of auditory rehabilitation tailored to the child's specific needs.

Dealing with pediatric hearing loss at an early age is known to lead to better outcomes.

Cochlear implant surgery, which is a significant procedure, typically has a better prognosis when performed at a young age. However, because it's a major surgery and not always successful for everyone, in many cases, hearing aids are initially recommended for children with pediatric hearing loss.


Depending on the severity of the hearing loss, if it's not profound, children can lead a relatively normal life with appropriate language training alongside wearing hearing aids, especially during the critical period of language acquisition.


What is the main cause of hearing loss in children?


The main causes of hearing loss in children can be broadly categorized into congenital (present at birth) and acquired (developed after birth) factors.

Congenital Causes:

  • Genetic Factors: Hearing loss can be hereditary, meaning it runs in families. Genetic mutations passed down from parents can result in congenital hearing impairment.

  • Infections during Pregnancy: Certain infections contracted by the mother during pregnancy, such as rubella (German measles), cytomegalovirus, or herpes, can cause hearing loss in the baby.

  • Complications at Birth: Birth complications, including premature birth, low birth weight, or lack of oxygen during childbirth, can lead to hearing loss.

  • Syndromes: Some genetic syndromes, like Down syndrome and Usher syndrome, are associated with hearing loss.



Acquired Causes:

  • Ear Infections: Chronic or severe ear infections, if left untreated, can cause hearing loss in children.

  • Head Injury: Trauma to the head, such as a severe blow or skull fracture, can damage the inner ear and result in hearing loss.

  • Exposure to Loud Noise: Prolonged exposure to loud noises, such as listening to loud music or being around loud machinery, can cause hearing damage over time.

  • Earwax Blockage: Impacted earwax can block the ear canal, leading to hearing difficulties.

  • Medications: Certain medications, such as some antibiotics and chemotherapy drugs, can cause hearing loss as a side effect.




Why is hearing screening important for children?


  • Early Detection of Hearing Loss:

  • Newborn hearing screening allows for the early detection of hearing impairments, including those that are congenital or present at birth.

  • In the US, it is known that every year, over 6,000 newborns are born without normal hearing. Since infants cannot express their own concerns, detecting their hearing status can be extremely challenging. Therefore, continuously monitoring whether a baby responds to sounds after birth is crucial.
  • Additionally, congenital hearing loss doesn't necessarily mean being born with it. It implies that the cause originates internally, which means it can manifest long after birth.
  • Moreover, even without internal causes, diseases like high fever or conditions such as Ménière's disease can lead to hearing problems, potentially causing acquired hearing impairment later in life. Hence, regular hearing screenings are essential for children who cannot express themselves well, as these screenings can help identify potential issues.Identifying hearing loss early enables timely intervention and support, crucial for the child's overall development.




  • Language and Speech Development:

  • Hearing is essential for speech and language development. Children learn to speak by imitating the sounds they hear. If language acquisition does not occur within the critical period, the efficiency of learning significantly decreases. Impaired language abilities can subsequently affect other cognitive skills, potentially causing developmental delays.
  • Therefore, children undergoing the process of acquiring and refining language skills must undergo regular hearing screenings to ensure proper development. Hearing loss, if undetected and untreated, can lead to delays in speech and language acquisition, affecting the child's communication skills and social interactions.




  • Academic Success:

  • Hearing difficulties can impact a child's ability to learn in a classroom setting. Children with hearing loss may struggle to understand instructions, follow conversations, or participate in class discussions. Early intervention and appropriate support, such as hearing aids or assistive devices, can significantly enhance a child's academic performance.




  • Emotional and Social Well-being:

  • Hearing loss can affect a child's social interactions and emotional well-being. It may lead to feelings of isolation, frustration, or low self-esteem, especially if the child has difficulty communicating with peers. Addressing hearing loss early helps in promoting healthy social and emotional development.




What type of hearing aid is best for children?


There isn't a specific type of hearing aid exclusively designed for children,

but it's crucial to remember that children continue to grow, unlike adults who have stopped growing.


Therefore, hearing aid devices themselves, as well as earmolds, hearing aid domes, and similar components, need to be continually replaced to accommodate the growing ears.

That's why in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids, which are custom-made based on the ear shape, are not suitable for growing children.

Many hearing aids, varying in performance, may cost over 3000$ for both ears.

Considering the seriousness of the hearing impairment, you might have to spend this amount or more annually.


Below are

recommended types of hearing aids for children, categorized based on the severity of the hearing loss.

For Children with Profound Hearing Loss: BTE (Behind the ears)


BTE, which stands for Behind-the-Ear, involves wearing the hearing aid behind the ear.

The earpiece is placed inside the ear and connected to the device behind the ear, amplifying sounds for the user.

One drawback is that BTE devices are quite noticeable.

However, due to their larger size, they offer significantly better sound quality compared to other types of hearing aids. Hence, they are suitable for children experiencing severe hearing loss.

Children might resist wearing BTE hearing aids easily. In such cases, I'll explain below how to encourage children to wear hearing aids.



For Children with Mild to Moderate Hearing Loss: RIC (Receiver-in-canal)

For milder cases, the RIC (Receiver-in-Canal) type of hearing aid can be considered.

Unlike BTE devices where the receiver is outside the ear,

RIC devices have the receiver placed inside, making them smaller and less conspicuous.

However, their smaller size can result in slightly lower sound output compared to BTE devices, making them unsuitable for children with severe hearing loss.

Both types of hearing aids allow tuning without the need for frequent replacements as long as the hearing loss does not significantly change.

However, since children's ears grow as they age, if the child resists wearing the hearing aid or shows discomfort, it's advisable to customize new earpieces and molds to ensure a proper fit.



Not recommended hearing aid type for children: ITC (In-the-Canal)


ITC, which stands for In-the-Canal, involves placing the entire device inside the ear, making it the least noticeable type.

However, for children whose ears continue to grow, using ITC can result in significant financial burden.

Additionally, very small types like CIC (Completely-in-Canal) can be challenging to manage.



How to get child to wear hearing aids

Children often don't want to wear hearing aids because they don't want to stand out from their peers. The main reason for their aversion is probably the fear of others' judgment.


Here are a few tips to address this challenge:



     1.Choose the appearance of the hearing aid according to the child's preference.

While there are no specific hearing aids designed exclusively for children, there are hearing aids with various colors and characters that can help reduce the aversion kids might feel.

Let the child choose whether BTE (Behind-the-Ear) or RIC (Receiver-in-the-Canal) is better for them.

Allowing them to make the choice fosters a sense of responsibility for their decision.



     2. Educate the child that hearing aids are like eyeglasses. 

Wearing hearing aids is no different from wearing glasses due to poor eyesight. The only distinction is that fewer people wear hearing aids, making the sight less common.

Educating the child about this fact can help them feel less self-conscious among their peers.


   3.Educate the child's friends and teachers about the necessity of hearing aids.

It's crucial to educate not only the child but also their friends, teachers, and neighbors about the child's situation.

Preemptively correcting perceptions can make a significant difference in how the child is treated and accepted.


   4. Modify the appearance of the hearing aids to be less noticeable - using flesh-colored covers, hiding behind hair, or transitioning to ITE (In-the-Ear) types when growth stops.

Hearing aids can be made less conspicuous.

Some hearing aids come with options to match flesh tones. For others, stickers resembling the child's skin color can be applied to the externally visible parts.

Alternatively, growing hair to cover the hearing aid or transitioning to ITE types once the child stops growing are viable options.

Also in Temporary blog detail list