Finding out your little one has hearing loss can be extremely hard for a young family. When we first found out our son Brandon had hearing loss we looked everywhere for the best help, advise and products which would make his life easier and more comfortable right away. With sensitive little ears, it can be hard to know which products are safe for children. So following on from the experience we’ve had with different hearing aid issues and upkeep, here is our list of the most useful, top 5 products for children’s hearing loss that can really make a difference your child’s wellbeing and happiness.
Number one on our list is Earol. Earol is the perfect product for getting rid of children’s ear wax and residue left in the ear canal without damaging the inner ear of a young child. From the moment our son was diagnosed with hearing loss and that first audiology visit, we were recommended to use olive oil to help break down wax build up in our child’s ears. But using olive oil drops didn’t get to the root of the wax – it mostly just dripped straight out from the ears. Earol uses a spray mechanism and the olive oil is purified and clear in colour so does not stain so easily as using standard olive oil either. The spray funnel means that the oil gets further into the ear canal to clear children’s ear wax. It’s easy to use and apply to your child’s ear and we believe every child (even those with normal hearing) will benefit from this product as it keeps the ear clean and free from wax without damaging the ear canal. We use it once every couple of nights just before bedtime and our son Brandon loves to use our empty bottles to keep his toys ears clean at playtimes.
Otoferm is a cream which is used to lubricate the earmoulds themselves and create an acoustic seal between the earmould and the air around it. This seal effectively helps to stop the whistling (feedback) you hear when your child’s hearing aids are left unworn or unattached. Otoferm also has a positive effect in that it lubricates the ear canal as you insert the hearing aids, helping to stop soreness. We use Otoferm every morning when inserting Brandon’s hearing aids and swear by it.
To prevent loss and damage of children’s hearing aids and cochlear implants, and also to make for a more comfortable wear, hearing aid retainers are a must in our opinion, and something that our son wears as standard with his aids. Hearing aid retainers come in many different colours and designs and can even be personalised to meet every child’s taste and preferences, from Disney characters to cartoons and popular themes. Hearing aid clips are easy to use and clip onto the backs of shirts, jackets or coats very easily and without much time required. They are detachable from the hearing aids themselves so they can be interchanged as often as you wish, according to your child’s preferences for that day, and can be cleaned with minimal effort. Unlike other hearing aid decorations and hearing aid accessories, the best advantage to hearing aid clips is that they are not only good looking, giving your child more confidence in wearing their hearing aids, but they are also an invaluable piece of kit in not losing their hearing aids whilst playing or running around.
Rayovac wipes are individually wrapped wipes which are used for removing wax and debris from the hearing aid earmoulds. They are pre-moistened with bactericidal and fungicidal liquid specifically designed for this use. Because they are individually wrapped they are perfect for when traveling if you require something to clean your little one’s ear moulds, for example when taking your little ones to the park when they could potentially get mud and grease on them. You can just use one to quickly and efficiently wipe the dirt away and quickly insert it back into the ear. We use these every evening when we take out our son’s hearing aids as it’s far more convenient than washing with soap and water and then waiting for them to try out. It’s still necessary to do a thorough clean with soap and water whenever there is any wax built up in the hearing aid tube, but Rayovac wives are super convenient and they really come into their own when traveling.
A hearing aid dehumidifier will be given as standard from your audiology department when your child is first given his or her hearing aids or cochlear implants. This simple pot should have some form of a basket to place the hearing aids in and a separate section to place a jar of moisture-drawing bead. The beads absorb the moisture from the hearing device which in turn prolongs the life of the hearing aid and increases its sound quality. To use, just take the battery out of your listening device and place the hearing aid on top of the foam or basket which separates it from the moisture-drawing beads below and shut the lid overnight.
You can also purchase electronic dehumidifiers which aim to dry hearing devices more quickly, and eradicate harmful moisture and bacteria. We use one every night to keep Brandon’s Hearing aids in tip-top condition, most importantly after giving hearing aids a good wash. These can also be really handy in changeable weather if children’s hearing aids or cochlear implants get wet in the rain.
So there you have it, the top five products we would recommend to use if you have a child diagnosed with hearing loss. Although there are many other products on the market which offer similar advantages to the products mentioned, these ones are recommended from our personal experience.
Be sure to check out ‘Brandon’s shop’ for more information on Hearing retainers for kids.