We followed up with Children's Rehab Services because we were already plugged into them for cleft-related things. They have a hearing clinic as well and I was able to get a quick appointment there. After double checking her hearing one last time to make sure there were no changes, the audiologist went ahead and made molds of her ears and had Hannah pick out her hearing aid colors. She chose purple for the actual aids and pink and purple swirl for the molds. About 3 weeks later, they were in. So, we went back to pick them up, check fitting, and another hearing test with the hearing aids. It was so cool to see her audiograms with the aids and compare them to without. Her hearing levels tested completely normal in all frequencies with the aids. And the technology is amazing. I was worried that some sound might be too loud amplified. Despite having a hearing loss, Hannah is sensitive to loud sounds. But the program in the aids themselves adjusts to the loudness. Something technical about compression and such. :) But basically, they are programed to only go to a certain loudness level in order to not damage more hearing. And they adjust automatically. If someone were to come up to Hannah and slam a door right behind her, the aids would automatically compensate and decrease output. Hannah was so excited to get her hearing aids and loved them. And 2 weeks later, she still loves them. She puts them on every morning and takes them off every night. She has done great with caring for them and cleaning them as well. And she changed the batteries on them tonight. She says she can tell a difference with them in. I can tell a difference. I'm rephrasing a lot less often and she just seems a little more relaxed. So I'm glad we got them. She'll go back in 2 months to have them rechecked and then will probably only go back every 6 months for a check and new molds unless concerns arise. The aids themselves should last years but she'll need frequent molds due to growth.
I asked her if she thought they helped her at school. She said yes, she can tell a difference. She does still have a little trouble in noisy situations. But that's because while the aids will amplify her teacher's voice, they also amplify all the background noise. But we are working on solutions to that. Her only complaint is that sometimes lunch and PE are too loud. I can see that - I've eaten enough lunches in school cafeterias to know how loud it can get. Right now she doesn't have any control over the volume of her hearing aids, but that is possible with these aids. It just takes the audiologist "activating" the volume control button. So, that's a possibility so she can turn down the volume in those noisy situations. I just hope she doesn't turn me down when I'm telling her something she doesn't like! :)
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