Hearing Aids and Their Impact on Childhood Development
Hearing Loss in Children
Approximately 6 out of every 1000 children born have some degree of hearing loss, which can affect the development of important language and social skills. The language centers of the brain begin to absorb and respond to different sounds from the time a child is in the womb, and being able to hear speech (and also to hear oneself) clearly is crucial to many aspects of early development. Studies show that early identification and treatment of hearing loss is vital to reducing developmental delays, and that hearing aids can play an important role in helping a child through the different stages of infancy, early childhood, and beyond.
Language enables us to communicate with others, and to express and understand needs, desires, feelings, and ideas. Appropriate hearing aids, although they will not completely restore normal hearing, will stimulate the auditory centers of the brain, helping children with hearing loss connect to the world of sound, and to make progress not only with speech, but also other language skills.
The benefits of treating hearing loss in children
A study carried out by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force found that children who averaged more than 10 hours per day of hearing aid use had more positive language growth trajectories than peers with less than 10 hours of use per day. In addition, children with earlier ages of hearing aid fitting (less than 6 months of age) had better language abilities than peers with later ages of hearing aid fitting. The good news was that by 6 years of age, the later-identified children had made progress in closing the language gap with the earlier-identified group.
What do these results mean for children who wear hearing aids and their families? They are an important indicator of the fact that treatment with hearing amplification devices can mitigate the negative effects of hearing impairment, even in cases of late diagnosis.
Options for Pediatric Hearing Aids
Fidelity Hearing Center works with manufacturers that provide excellent hearing aid solutions for children, including Oticon, Siemens, and Starkey.
Oticon Hearing Aids for Kids
Oticon’s unique BrainHearing™ technology, available in all pediatric models including the Sensei and Sensei SP (Super Power), ensures clear and consistent amplification, provides your child access to more of the important details in speech sounds to better support language development, and supports your child’s brain in making sense of sound in order to get the most out of their hearing. These hearing aids incorporate many features to ensure that they are robust and safe, and that they fit children’s many changing needs as they grow from infancy to adolescence. Additionally, Oticon hearing devices undergo real-life testing to ensure their strength and resilience.
Siemens Hearing Aids for Kids
Siemens offers a full portfolio of specialized hearing devices for children, aids that uniquely answer the hearing requirements of ‘active kids and teens’. The Pure is tiny, ultra-discreet, full of high-tech features, and fully rechargeable, a perfect choice for teens who want the ultimate in discretion but don’t want to sacrifice function and convenience. The Motion, SX, SA, and PX are also great options for teens, with easy handling and on-board controls. SX and PX models are rechargeable, with the PX model for severe hearing loss. SA is ready for classroom FM systems and comes in fun colors.
Starkey Hearing Aids for Kids
Starkey, another leading manufacturer of advanced hearing aid technology, offers a number of pediatric-friendly products based on smart technology and full of sturdy features designed to keep up with your child’s active life. An added bonus is a huge variety of colors for children to choose from, to help them express their personality and boost their confidence. Starkey pediatric aids feature fast, powerful sound processing, FM system compatibility, water and wax repellent protection systems, and excellent speech understanding in noise.
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