Understanding Your Child's Deafness: Information For You

Health & Medical Blog

When you find out you are going to have a baby, you likely do not think about the possibility that your child will be born deaf. As such, when your child's doctor sits down to talk to you after their hearing test and informs you that your child cannot hear, you likely have no idea what to do. However, if you take the time to better understand deafness, you will then have a better idea of what you should do to care for your new child and ensure that they have the happiest and healthiest life possible.

There Are Different Levels Of Deafness

An important fact to understand is that there are different degrees of deafness. Being deaf or hearing impaired are not concepts that are one-size-fits-all. A baby that is determined to be legally deaf when they are born may still be able to hear some sounds.

For example, a legally deaf person may be able to hear ambient noise and recognize that a person is speaking but cannot discern the words that are being spoken. On the other hand, there are also people who are profoundly deaf that cannot hear at all, even ambient noise. The degree of deafness your child has will help to determine what options are available to you and your child going forward.

There Are Options To Help Your Child Hear Some Sounds

The different brands of hearing aids offer different levels of hearing assistance and the age ranges they are appropriate for. When you find out your child is deaf, you can consult with an audiologist to determine whether or not hearing aids will help your child to better interact with the hearing world.

Cochlear implants are also an option for children who are born deaf. A cochlear implant is a device that is surgically implanted into the brain that is designed to electronically convert the frequencies of sound it encounters into signals that the brain can interpret as sound. In essence, it creates a form of artificial hearing.

Cochlear implants do not allow a person to hear exactly like a person born with the ability to hear in that some subtle sounds may not be interpreted by the device. These implants are also permanent. As such, some parent opt to wait to use cochlear implants until the child is able to decide for themselves.

Now that you know more about deafness and what it means for your child, you can go forward knowing that you can take proper care of your child and embrace rather than mourn their deafness.

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