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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

DS2 has mild hearing loss, and he's been fitted for hearing aids...really confused.

(18 Posts)
mm22bys Tue 28-Oct-08 14:45:39


DS2 has had hearing issues for about a year. We were able to have grommets inserted really quickly getting on 12 months ago, but today it was confirmed that he has mild hearing loss (sensory-neural).

He has very little speech / sounds, and is globally developmentally delayed. He doesn't copy, nor does he imitate.

The level of his hearing loss is between 35 - 40 decibels, and they want to amplify it to 30.

It seems to me like his hearing loss isn't that bad, how could 5 decibels make a difference? The audiolgoist said to me a couple of months ago that she didn't think DS2's lack of babbling was solely due to his level of hearing loss.

He is 23 months old.

Just after some reassurance I guess that this is not just going down the wrong track, and even with such a minor amplification it did make a difference (bearing in mind DS's other difficulties).


mm22bys Tue 28-Oct-08 21:14:20

Just bumping, hoping there's someone out there who has a DC with mild loss who's got hearing aids...

KerryMumchingOnEyeballs Tue 28-Oct-08 21:17:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PussinJimmyWhoooos Tue 28-Oct-08 21:31:04

I'm profoundly deaf and you would be surprised at how a small amount of sound can make a big difference so if the audiologists think a hearing aid is a good idea - I would go with it. If it turns out to be more hassle than anything, you can always take them out and not use them

Its worth bearing in mind that at the age your DS is now, sound is so very important and anything you can do to maximise that - worth doing imho...

Happy for you to CAT me if you want any more info!

Audiologistmummy Tue 28-Oct-08 21:33:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cthea Tue 28-Oct-08 21:39:09

If his hearing is at 35-40 dB, add to it a spot of glue ear and it makes his hearing loss to 50-60 dB, maybe more. That would make it very difficult to hear. It's easy enough to keep the aids out when you feel he has a "good" day. Apart from the inconvenience and the aethetic aspect, why not give them a try? Once you notice a difference (and give them a fair chance), you'll be all for it. (My DD2 is having a CI op in a few weeks' time, 6-7 hours surgery, she's deaf beyond 120 dB.) Good luck, not what we want for our kids but at least there's a solution for it.

mm22bys Wed 29-Oct-08 07:43:29

Good luck Ctea.

The audiologist said they would only amplify down to 30 decibels, so even if he had some glue ear, and as you suggest, would only be hearing at 55-60, wouldn't he still only be hearing an extra 5 decibels?

I am wondering why we were told we speak at 50 decibels if there are so many "quieter" sounds.

I know he is going to hate them, and will try to pull them out all the time (how long will it take for him to get sued to them).

How will I be able to tell if they are making any difference to him, given he has only a mild loss now and is still making very few sounds, and doesn't imitate the sounds we make?


Tortington Wed 29-Oct-08 07:50:33

my dd has a rare condition wehre she has periods of partial deafness! i onyl discovered this when she was 8 and nothing was done until she was 10.

there are some sounds she still struggles with

shhh is a vey dificult sound she is 15 and wouls day 'sip' instead of ship...

the hearing loss she has ( from toime to time) sounds much like your sons. i think you are doing the righ thng witht he aids, anythingt o help with language formation.

i wold press hard for a speech thereapist as well. as the waiting list could be years.

they teach you things like

'sh' in ship, is easier said s.y.ip

and other neat little tricks to practice.

Tortington Wed 29-Oct-08 07:53:53

you are also settin him up for all the help he needs at school as well - so look at this stage - baby with hearing aids aaaaaaaaaaargh...... being a precurser to settinghim up witht he correct support at school, things like radio aids where the teacher speaks into a mike that goes to the hearing aids, special resources and 121 time for your son, more time in exams wink

your son with quickly learn to lipread, he teachers then ned to be taught not to speak as hey are turning round to write on the board - things like that - but this support can be in place for your son becuase you are doing this now.

mm22bys Wed 29-Oct-08 09:50:20

Thanks for your input.

I am more concerned about the lack of imitation, etc, and I don't feel this is being addressed. I think if he was "just" deaf I would be more keen to go for it.

He's been going to SALT for a year, and we are still working on things like eye contact, making choices. He doesn't copy at all, and has no gestures.

I think what I am trying to say is that his problems are not "just" partial deafness.

We have to try it though....

cthea Wed 29-Oct-08 10:30:06

Custardo - has your DD got auditory neuropathy? I can't think of any other with such fluctuating deafness.

mm22bys - thanks for the good luck wishes (end of Nov). Why are your son's other problems (lack of gesture and imitation) not being addressed? They'll only partially be related to any deafness, if at all.

Regarding amplification, that is strange that they'd only set a 5dB gain on the aids. BTW my son's hearing with aids was at 35-45 dB and only at some frequencies (now he has a cochlear implant, he can hear down to 20dB and across all frequencies). That was as far as aids could help him but in your son's case I'd have throught they'd want to bring it to as near to normal as possible. The technology is there for a mild loss.

cuttingmeownthroatdibblaaaargh Wed 29-Oct-08 10:34:02

I don't know a lot about hearing loss, but the really important thing to remember about the decibel scale is that it is not linear - so 10 isn't twice 5, it's much more than that. So what seems like a small change in numbers is actually a big difference in sound

mm22bys Wed 29-Oct-08 14:09:32

Thanks for the explanation cutting, I hadn't realised that at all.

I don't know why they're not really working on the imitation etc. We are playing turn-taking games with dolls and teddies, playing tea-parties with cups, trying to get him to learn to stack cups etc but most of the time he's not interested and just puts them in his mouth. I think they are hoping through play he'll start to copy.

My DH came to the appointment yesterday and did ask about the only slight amplication. They said they might put it down to 25, but I still don't understand why if you are going to bother with aids you wouldn't want it set to as close to zero as possible.

They also suggested that maybe he is hearing at lower levels but the sound isn't interesting enough for him to properly be distracted - they said with older children they're able to ask them to indicate by pressing a button when they only slightly hear a noise.

It's all a mystery to me TBH, really don't know what to think when it's so much more of a problem that just his hearing....


bigcar Wed 29-Oct-08 19:06:44

Hearing tests at this age seem so random don't they! I think that's probably why they will be conservative with the settings on the aids. Ime they don't ever aim for 0db, they aim to bring you into the range of the speech banana, the problem is the aids pick up all the background noise which can be more of a distraction than a help. We have been told that dd3s aids will probably not be set acurately until they can get her to do the more acurate testing at about 3 or 4.

If they set the aids too high because as you say your ds2 may not have been interested in the noise (dd3 frequently isn't!), your ds2 would find wearing the aids impossible. It's best to set them low at first and have regular appointments to get the settings tweeked iyswim.

Tbh aids have not made a huge difference to dd3s speech (she also has gdd amongst other things!) but we have noticed a change in the noises she reacts too. Her understanding has also improved quite a lot, maybe because she is getting the quieter speech sounds now.

If your ds2 is getting bte aids you can ask for coloured aids and coloured moulds or to have a favourite character in them, if you think that would make a difference. At the end of the day you can always hand the aids back and tell them it's not working.

Reallytired Thu 30-Oct-08 21:06:59

My son had glue ear and some hearing loss due to scarring on his ear drum due to repeated perforations. He had hearing aids for about 18 months and they really helped him. He went from not being able to read at all to reading stage 4 Oxford Reading Tree books in a matter of weeks. We also found that my son became more obiedent.

He used to have a hearing loss of between 50 and 30 db in both ears, but now the glue has cleared up he only has a hearing loss of 20 dB. There are drawback to hearing aids. My son found it quite hard to pick out a particular person's voice in a noise place. for him, he loved his hearing aids when his hearing was really poor, but now he finds it easier without hearing aids. Hence we have given back the hearing aids.

I think as far as the amplification goes, they might increase the amplification as your son gets used to them. It is quite a lot of work persauding a small child to wear hearing aids.

Digital hearing aids are set according to your child's audiogram. Ie. your child will be able to hear some sounds better than others. My son's hearing aids were really cool. He had Dr Who ear moulds and they were bright blue.

smartiejake Thu 30-Oct-08 22:09:40

You would be surpised how much an extra 5 or 10dB can make especially if your dc has glue ear as well which can temporarily make the hearing loss worse. If he has global development delay as well I| would grab any extra help he was offered.

I have had many pupils with moderate losses similar to your ds who do not perform anywhere near as well when they do not have their hearing aids in.

Hey cthea you got the ok for your dds CI operation! Fab news- hope it is as successful for her as it is for your son.

Is it really a 6 hour op? Thought it was much quicker these days. My pupil who had it done a few weeks ago was home the same day!

cthea Fri 31-Oct-08 13:35:54

Thanks, Smartie. It's 6-7 hours because they're doing both ears.

smartiejake Sat 01-Nov-08 12:34:36

Wow! How did you get the go ahead for both ears? Several of my pupils have asked for this but have had it refused as the PCT won't fund it. Best of luck!

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