My 8 year old son failed the school hearing test this year. He had passed it last year. Upon audiology test and visit to ENT specialist he was referred for surgery in his ears to place tubes to drain liquid in the years. After the surgery his hearing did not improve. Audiology test again showed same hearing loss. Now the doctor has agreed that tubes were really not necessary and it must the inner bones, which are causing hearing loss. Surgery is ruled out at this age. So hearing aid is the only alternative. I am frustrated with this as this all came as a shocker to our family and we feel like helpless here. It is hard to believe that a child who had normal hearing the previous year, can have acute hearing loss the next year and which, according to ENT specialist is not curable.
Any ideas or help, suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
Hi! I'm so sorry that your son is now experiencing hearing loss. It isn't what anyone would want, but anyone can learn to deal with it, and the younger, the better. First, how many of these cases does your doctor see in a week? Month? Find a place that deals with this type of loss every day. Your son needs an expert. The hearing aid sales offices personnel have heard from a kazillion customers and may be willing to tell what doctor or clinic they'd go to if someone they loved needed answers. Then go there and follow their recommendations. Hearing loss is a pain in the fanny, but 8-year-olds are so resilient, he'll rapidly adapt. My guess is that it's going to be much harder for the adults in the family than it will be for him. When it comes to fitting time, insist that the mold be re-made as many times as necessary until there is absolutely no microphone feedback. Because your son's head size (therefore ear size) is going to be changing all the time as he develops toward adulthood, you'll know when you again start to hear feedback that he needs another mold. I FINALLY (after years of utter frustration with feedback) found a technician who made the part that fits down into the canal as long as she could, without it touching my eardrum---about twice the length of my preivious molds. She also experimented with the mold portion that fits into the shell of my ear--the part that others could see if they really looked---so that it fits snugly, but not tight enough to cause discomfort, which is very tricky to do. My current molds are very comfortable, very pliable, and not at all prominent, due to a sort of nothing color that sort of blends into my ear color, although they can be seen. The "guts" that cost so much fit behind my ear. Because little boys like to climb trees, play with the dog, play tag, and wrestle, my friend's two sons, both of whom wore glasses, had their hearing aids attached to the earpieces of their glasses. They had to be repaired numerous times, but they never lost them! See other posts from me to questioners in this forum for other details that may or may not help you. I know that this is crushing news for the adults in your family, but your son will adjust more quickly than you. Try to avoid letting him know how devastated you are. His biggest problem, aside from getting a good mold fit, is going to be worrying that he's not like the other kids and dealing with the comments of some of the insensitive jerks that all schools have. Try to think of the aids as shoe braces or glasses---just something to help deal with one of life's little problems, but no big deal. The technological strides continue to be remarkable, and your son will be remarkable, too. Since he's 8, and that age loves to have a hero they can emulate, try to find biographies or autobiographies of famous people who had hearing aids as children. It's likely that inspiring stories are familiar to the hearing personnel you'll be dealing with. Children are so super sensitive to the concerns of their parents; if you stress, so will he; if it's just another problem to solve, like putting a new water heater in when the old one quits heating or starts leaking, he'll see it the same way. I know your heart is breaking, but in the overall picture, it's less troublesome than diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis, or a whole host of other problems. See if you can find mothers of other hearing impaired children to trade stories with, and you'll always be welcome in this forum. See if there's a social group for hearing impaired children connected with the hospital or clinic that you choose. Let us know how everything ends up. Best wishes to your whole family.
First of all.... I am audiologist so pease listen up
I don't see anything in your suposed test results and diagnosis to really verify a hearing loss.
I don't even know if the tests were done correctly, (your explantion of your childs situation, "inner bones" certainly indicates that) and to add insult to inury, a lot of ENTs do not hire audiologists in order to cut costs. It is technically legal to do this, but it sure is not the smart thing to do. Audiologist have at least 6 years of college under their belt and a lot of them have 8 years and sport a doctorate degree.
That said, here is what you need to do.
Seek a second opinion & make sure that the "audiologist" is an audiologist before going to the ENT.
You need to have the following tests done
1) Tympanometry: This will tell you your child's middle ear status and will let you know if his or her tubes are working, or if their is fluid within the ear etc
2) If Tympanometry results are normal then get OAE diagnostic testing done
If all the above is normal, you are done, and my guess is they will be.
If not do some further testing and be sure to get an ASSR and not just an ABR
All the above tests mentioned are objective and thus rule out any issues of possibly non compliant children etc.
If your child does have a hearing loss, the actual degree is what determines the next step. But I have got to tell you that in the world of hearing aid technology..... Whew, it has become simply awesome. Google the GnResound Dot if you want to see more, or even youtube it
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