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When a child cannot hear

Doctor of medical sciences Michał Michalik
Specialist of otolaryngology, head and neck surgery

Medical Centre MML in Warsaw



Apteka Gemini

5-20% of children and adolescents at school-age have all sorts of problems associated with hearing. Almost 60% of parents of children in whom hearing impairments have been found, had no awareness of the existence of this problem.

The diagnosis that a child cannot hear or has hypoacusia is always a shock to the parents, even when they expect it. It’s a huge stress, with which is difficult to deal with. Support groups help, associations, which are made up of parents of children who have hypoacusia or are deaf. They’ve already gone through it and provide their own experience to those who are just entering this difficult road. Everyone can give and receive, experience their weakness and strength, experience and co-experience sadness, joy and hope, which is a significant advantage of support groups for parents. Meetings are held in an atmosphere of trust and friendship, which all participants care for, determining at the beginning the permanent rules during the meetings. Everyone also makes sure that nobody criticizes or judges anyone or lectures anyone. Thanks to this, the parents’ faith in their own strength grows, as does their sense of power and competence in raising their own child.

If hearing loss and the use of hearing aids has been diagnosed in your child – do not react with panic. A child should know from the very beginning that hearing aids will be his/her friend, and not something that will negatively distinguish him/her from the environment. The child will share your attitude to the hearing aid. Hearing aids for children are tailored to their tiny ears. In young children it is recommended to use behind-the-ear hearing aids. Older children, in consultation with a specialist, may choose to wear a completely-in-canal or in-the-ear hearing aid. The type of aid also depends on hearing loss. An integral part of each hearing aid is an individually made earmould, which moves sounds strengthened by the hearing aid into the ear. Children with cochlear implants can also use ear inserts, which stabilize the processor worn behind the ear.

How do you keep the hearing aid clean?

Don’t be afraid to touch your child’s hearing aid. Hearing aids and inserts should be cleaned daily with a soft, dry cloth. Before you take the hearing, make sure that you have clean and dry hands. For cleaning hearing aids do not use water, cleaning agents, solvents or alcohol, as they may damage the hearing aid. Clean the insert from earwax, because it clogs the tubes of the insert and is one of the causes of poor reception of sounds by the child.

How do you care for an ear which uses a hearing aid?

A child wearing a hearing may have a tendency to overproduce earwax. Additionally, using a hearing aid for many hours interferes with the process of natural cleansing of the ear canal of earwax causing earwax plugs, which block the flow of sounds.

The ear is also continuously irritated by the hearing aid. The epidermis may peel additionally causing itching and symptoms of allergies. In this case, it is particularly recommended to use natural preparations for dissolving and removing earwax, which additionally moisturize the ear canal and prevent infections. This is especially important for young children, whose ear canals are narrow and a small amount of earwax can cause clogging and, consequently, infection.

Doctor of medical sciences Michał Michalik
Specialist of otolaryngology, head and neck surgery
Medical Centre MML in Warsaw