Treatment is the single most important thing for a deaf or hard of hearing child, and beginning as soon as possible is vital to success. While it’s clear that treatment is an absolute necessity for infants and toddlers with hearing problems, choosing the right treatment option for them is a more complicated task that no parent should face alone. If you’re the parent or guardian of a child with a speech, language, or processing delay, we encourage you to turn to the Heuser team for expert guidance as you determine the right treatment plan for your child.
Our experienced pediatric physicians and audiologists will help you fully understand all of your options as you work to create the best treatment strategy for your child’s individual needs. When selecting any treatment approach, we always consider and incorporate your family’s goals, preferences, values, beliefs, culture, and linguistic background to ensure we offer you the best treatment possible.
It’s important to understand that pediatric hearing loss treatment is not a short-term commitment. Selecting a technology is just the beginning, and you should expect the treatment process to continue through the days, weeks, months, and even years after your child is fitted with his or her new hearing devices. After the instruments are fitted or devices implanted, you should expect to experience:
- Counseling to examine needs, expectations, and strategies
- Training to ensure you can consistently and correctly operate the devices
- Orientation on using, operating, cleaning, maintaining, and repairing your child’s devices
- Lessons on proper use of batteries, accessories, or assistive listening devices
- Hearing evaluations to assess progress
- Several adjustments to programming and fitting over time
- Parent-infant therapy
- Communication counseling and education
Pediatric Hearing Loss Treatment Options
There are several technologies used to treat hearing loss and deafness in infants and children. You can learn more about all of the treatments below by visiting our Hearing Loss Treatments and Pediatric Services pages. Nearly all cases of pediatric hearing loss are treated with one or more of these technologies:
Behind-The-Ear hearing aids are the most popular hearing aids for children due to their ease of use, though there are several other hearing aid styles available as well.
Cochlear implants are typically used for children 12 months and older who have severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss that can’t be treated with hearing aids.
Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs)
These personal listening systems wirelessly transmit sound directly from the source to the listener and are excellent for pediatric use because they improve communication access for children in adverse listening environments.
Bone-Anchored Hearing Aids (BAHA)
BAHA are optimal for children with permanent bilateral conductive or mixed hearing loss or single-sided deafness, though the surgical procedure is not approved for children under age five.
Auditory Brainstem Implants (ABIs)
ABIs are still in research stages to determine their long-term efficacy in treating children and adults who do not have a cochlea or auditory nerve and can’t be treated with hearing aids or other implanted treatment technologies.