Because children with hearing loss are still growing, they are most often fitted with a behind-the-ear hearing aid, so that the mold can be replaced as the child gets bigger. There are several benefits to this type of hearing aid that aren't found in other styles of hearing aids.
A child's BTE is a type of hearing aid that rests, almost like glasses would, behind the ears. Sound travels from the outer shell of this device through a tube that inserts fully into the ear canal. The pediatric BTE hearing aids can be used by any child with mild to profound hearing loss. Because they are not limited by the space inside the ear, a BTE can accommodate a larger, more powerful battery and amplifier.
Two other features to note about BTE hearing aids for children are:
Future Flexibility--BTE hearing aids are custom fit with ear molds to match your child's ears. A child's ears are unique as their fingerprints, but just like fingers, ears grow larger as a child ages. BTE hearing aids allow for new earmolds to be made and easily transferred to the hearing aid, creating less expense for the parent and transition for the child.
Dependability and Safety--Just as medicine comes with tamper resistant caps, it's important to make sure that whatever BTE you purchase for your child comes with a tamper proof door for the batteries. Batteries need to be replaced by parents, but if they are accessible to a small child they can be swallowed. Batteries are toxic and dangerous to children of all ages if swallowed.
Below are a few styles of Behind-The-Ear hearing aids reviewed to expand on features available to a child with hearing loss.
Audeo S Smart 1/Behind-The-Ear
Design and performance are within reach even for those on a limited budget with the Audeo S Smart I by Phonak. Phonak’s legendary Smarttm and Spice+ Technology is now offered in a functional and affordable model. For the first time in Phonak’s basic model enhanced sound recovery is available to provide unprecedented high frequency audibility and speech audibility for all degrees of hearing loss.
Advanced features include: Phonak’s signature Ultra Zoom Basic a manually selected function that allows detection of speech in noise. Whistle Block is the same high performance feature for all of spice platform products at all price levels, offering feedback free performance. Noise Block Basic provides effective noise block cancellation.
Naida S 1/Behind-The-Ear
The Naida S pediatric hearing aid has been shown to improve communication and has been heralded by one Canadian parent as "A gift of hope." In addition this pediatric hearing aid is waterproof, allowing for small, often moist fingers to touch them repeatedly without doing damage. The Naida S is available for all levels of hearing loss and according to Phonak, "Naída S gives children the highest levels of audibility offering even more hearing to those who need it most."
Advanced features include: UltraZoom helps the listener understand speech in difficult background noise situations. SoundRecover, Phonak’s exclusive technology allows individuals to enjoy the full spectrum of sounds. Whistle Block makes whistling hearing aids a thing of the past.
Oticon's Vigo hearing aid for children not only comes with a tamper proof battery door, but it also comes in a wide range of colors and has stickers for children to decorate their hearing aid with. According to the manufacturer, "Vigo Connect’s extended bandwidth captures even more of the high frequency cues so vital for language development." This hearing aid is one of the smaller version for children. It is therefore comfortable for even the youngest members of the family. This hearing aid is also compatibility with FM technologies.
If you'd like to learn more, see your hearing health provider. If you need help finding a hearing health provider click HERE to be connected with the largest network of trusted hearing health professionals in the nation!