If your child wears a hearing aid, it’s essential to check it on a regular basis to ensure your child can hear everything they’re supposed to. While the process of a hearing aid check involves several steps, it doesn’t take long once you know what to do. We review the steps below.
First, you should do a physical check. Inspect the hearing aid visually to assess whether there is any damage to the casing or earmold. You can also use a battery tester to make sure the device has enough power to deliver good sound quality. If you have a hearing aid listening stethoscope, use this too to determine whether sound cuts out or changes in quality as you change the volume.
If your child is old enough, ask if they hear any feedback or squealing when sounds come through the hearing aid.
Feedback can be caused by earwax, the earmold sitting in the wrong place or the volume being set too loud. If none of these quick fixes address the feedback, it may be due to cracks in the tubing or the earmold, or the earmold being too small. If this is the case, an audiologist can remake the earmold.
Finally, you can perform a listening check. One type of listening check is called the Ling six-sound test. This test involves presenting a series of specific speech sounds and determining whether the child can hear them clearly.
To perform this test:
- Have your child sit about three feet away from you while wearing their hearing aids.
- Cover your mouth with a listening hoop if you have one, which blocks the sight of your mouth but not the sound that comes out of it.
- Individually make each of the following sounds: “mm,” “oo,” “ah,” “ee,” “sh” and “ss.”
- Have your child respond in some way, whether by raising a hand or moving a toy, each time they hear a sound.
- Be sure to vary the pause time between each sound so the child doesn’t pick up on a pattern and predict when you make each sound.
- You can also make no sound for an extended period and instruct your child to indicate when no sound is produced.