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Myth: Hearing aids will let me child hear like “normal."
Fact: Hearing aids do not restore hearing to normal and cannot cure hearing loss. They can improve your child’s hearing, listening abilities, and quality of life. The human ear is a complex system with thousands of nerve endings. A hearing aid cannot give the same level of precision that the normal ear can.
Myth: A hearing aid will harm my child’s hearing.
Fact: A hearing aid will not damage your child’s hearing as long as it is fitted properly, maintained well, and worn correctly. A hearing aid works specifically for your child’s hearing loss.
Myth: My child’s hearing loss is not bad enough for a hearing aid.
Fact: Hearing is important for a child’s speech, learning, and development. If your child has a hearing loss, it can affect how people relate to them and how they feel about themself. Your audiologist will work with you to find the best hearing aid for your child. Your audiologist will want to find out about your child’s usual hearing activities: at home with your family, at school; and in their daily life. What is most important is that a hearing aid fits your child’s needs.
Myth: The smaller hearing aids are the best hearing aids.
Fact: There are several types of hearing aids. What is most important is that a hearing aid fits your child’s hearing loss and listening needs. Just because a friend or family member uses a certain device does not mean that style is best for your child. Not everyone is able to wear the smaller hearing aids. Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids are the most common type of hearing aid used in infants and children.
Myth: Hearing aids will fix all communication problems.
Fact: Hearing aids help a great deal, but your child may still have trouble in noisy areas, such as crowds and restaurants. Hearing aids are not perfect, but they do help you hear softer sounds, hear better when there is background noise, and understand speech better. Along with your hearing aids, we recommend that you encourage good listening strategies— have your child look at the speaker’s face and shorten the distance between them and the speaker.
Myth: Your child will like their new hearing aids the day they get them.
Fact: Your child may or may not like your hearing aids when they first get them. With hearing aids, they will hear some sounds they have not heard before or sounds they have not heard in a long time. At first background noise can seem loud and distracting. Their own voice will likely sound louder to them. Adjusting to hearing aids can take several weeks. Have your child start by wearing them a few hours at a time in non-stressful situations. A good place to start is at home with the TV or with just one person in the room.
Myth: My child’s hearing will get worse because their ears will depend on the hearing aids.
Fact: Your child’s hearing will not get worse by wearing a properly fitted hearing aid. Hearing aids provide ears with sound otherwise not heard without hearing aids. Without a hearing aid, ears do not receive sounds that they used to, and the brain “forgets” what those sounds were like. It is important for your child to stimulate their ears and brain with sound.
If your child lost their hearing gradually, they probably did not notice a big difference from day to day. Once they get used to hearing well with a hearing aid, they will notice a significant difference when they take it off.
Adapted from materials from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (www.ASHA.org).
Reviewed: September 2022