pediatric audiology – what to expect

What will happen the day of the consult and ear impressions?

At this appointment, the audiologist will meet with you to review the test results and discuss what types of devices would be best suited for your baby. Impressions will be taken of the baby’s ears. A soft foam ball will be placed in the ear canal. Then a soft pliable material will be squirted into the ear canal. The impression will cure for approximately 5 minutes. It will be removed and sent to an earmold lab. The lab will make “earmolds” from these impressions. The turnaround time is 2 to 3 weeks.

We will ask you to pick colors for the hearing devices, which you will have for about 5 years. There are a few options to choose from, for example, red, pink, blue, purple, browns, black and taupes. On the advice of experienced parents, we recommend a color that will stand out to make them easier to find. The earmold color can be changed more often. For small infants, the audiologist may recommend an earmold material that does not have color until the baby’s ears are larger.

checking a baby's ears

What to Expect the Day of the Fitting

The devices will be pre-fit using your baby’s test results and a formula designed for infants. This formula gives us a safe and appropriate starting point. The day of the fitting, the earmolds and hearing aids will be put on the baby and earmold tubing trimmed to the proper length. We will then let you and the baby listen for a few minutes. You are encouraged to speak or sing to the baby. Some parents like to think of a lullaby to sing ahead of time. Sometimes babies smile, look surprised or even sometimes cry at first. We like to let the baby listen to you first. Please do not be discouraged if the baby cries. Sound is a novel experience and may startle them.
mother with her child

Follow Up Visits

We will have you return at a 2 week interval to answer questions, see how the baby is progressing and to check the earmold fit. The younger a baby is, the faster they outgrow the earmolds. Under 6 months of age, they will need new earmolds every few weeks. During preschool, they typically need 4-6 pairs per year. By school age, 2 or 3 times per year is typical. This growth will fluctuate and gradually slow over time. Their ears typically reach adult size in the early teens.
hearing aid repairs

Repairs and Loss Coverage

The devices come with a repair policy. The duration of this policy varies by manufacturer. Out of warranty devices can be repaired for a repair fee. They also come with a one time loss and damage policy. The device can be lost one time during this period and replaced. Earmolds are not covered by this policy. Your audiologist will give you all of this information in writing. If you use the original loss coverage, it is possible to purchase hearing aid insurance through a third party.
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