Tag Archives: hearing aids

Braxton’s Hearing Aids

One of the features of WordPress blogs is the ability to track where your site visits are coming from. I can’t see WHO, but I can see HOW you got here (for the most part) whether it was from a Facebook link, Twitter link, or even if you found us on a search engine.  Wordpress also shows what the user was searching for when they clicked over to your blog.  One of the most frequent searches bringing visitors to our site is baby hearing aids or Phonak hearing aids (which is the brand of Brax’s).

So, if you happened to come across this blog due to your search, I invite you to leave a comment with any questions you might have regarding the hearing aids.  

I’m not entirely sure what exactly you were looking for when you clicked here, but I’m happy to help answer any questions! I’m no expert, but sometimes personal experience matters more! Here are some additional details about the hearing aids from our own experience:

Braxton Wearing his Hearing Aids

Braxton with his hearing Aids on. They are very small and hardly noticeable

Braxton has the Phonak Nios S H2O hearing aids in baby blue.  They are behind the ear aids.  We have clear ear molds for now.  There are all kinds of funky colors you can get, but with Braxton in daycare, I wanted the least obvious we could get just so the other kids wouldn’t get too curious and yank them out.  The audiologist told us the aids are waterproof, but I’m just a little skeptical with any electronics device that claims to be “waterproof.” Plus, they are entirely too expensive to chance anything! Bathtime for us isn’t exactly playtime. I’m pretty quick with bathing, get in, get clean, get out! haha So needing them during baths isn’t important to us and he isn’t exactly old enough to swim yet, so no biggie (but nice to know just in case…you never know with kids!)

The school districts here  (when Brax gets to be school age) mostly uses Phonak devices and attachments so the audiologist recommended that we go ahead and get the Phonak brand.    The hearing aids allow for attachments that would allow a microphone receptor to connect at the bottom so the teacher could teach normally with a microphone and then it would transmit directly to the aid so Braxton won’t have any issues paying attention in class.  The hearing aids also have a small button on each of them with 2 microphones above and below (see pic). The button is programmable and you can use it as a volume adjustment or on/off switches. Currently, our audiologist has the buttons deactivated so we can’t accidentally turn them off or decrease the volume too low.  She said for babies, it’s recommended the volume be all the way up to ensure the child can hear, and even though it sounds loud to us, we don’t have a hearing loss so it could sound just fine to him. We don’t know really until he can tell us himself.

Phonak Nios S H2O in Baby Blue

Programmable buttons for volume/power with 2 microphones above and below on each hearing aid.

Phonak Nios S H2O in Baby Blue

The pair of Phonak Nios S H2O in Baby Blue

So far, Braxton hasn’t pulled at the hearing aids to take them off. But they do seem to slip out occasionally when he’s very actively rolling around or jumping.  The aids came with a kit that included a behind the ear clasp to help keep them on his head and near him if they do happen to fall out. Again, they’re expensive, you don’t want to lose them!

Ear Gear

Sample of Ear Gear. Image from their site http://www.gearforears.com/

I haven’t tried it yet, but I’ve looked in to “Ear Gear,” a spandex covering that goes over the hearing aid to protect against dust, sweat, and make the aids more comfortable.  Their site doesn’t seem to report any decrease in quality for the aids and they also provide a strap to keep them in place. They also report a decrease in white noise and wind as it passes the mic.  I’ll most likely be placing an order soon and I’ll update!  Link to the website: http://www.gearforears.com/

The kit also came with a few other helpful tools. It’s a pediatric care kit. Not sure if it comes standard with new aids or if our audiologist ordered it for us? Anywho, here is the pack and all that comes in it.

Phonak Pediatric Care Kit

Super awesome case for the Care Kit [yes, sarcasm]

Phonak Pediatric Care Kit

Contents of Pediatric Care Kit

– There is a listening tube. That allows us to check that the aids are working and we can hear essentially what Braxton is hearing. May sound different to us, again, because we don’t have a hearing loss, but we can see what is “normal” to us so if it becomes distorted later we’ll know there is a battery issue or something else not functioning properly.

Listening Tube

Listening Tube – One end connects to the ear mold and the other goes in your ear to listen to the aid

Listening Tube

You can see the end slips over the ear mold part that would go in the child’s ear. The other end goes in YOUR own ear and you can essentially hear what your child hears

– There is also a battery tester, so you can place the battery on the tester and it will tell you how much battery life remains.

Battery Tester

Place the hearing aid battery on the plate and lightly press it agains the tester and the meter tells you how much strength is left in the battery

– There is a “dust blower” (not sure the technical name), which you can remove the ear mold from the aid itself and blow through the tube to clear out any moisture droplets that may have gotten in or dust/earwax.

Use this tool to blow water/moisture/dust/earwax out of the ear mold

Disconnect the ear mold from the aid and then insert the tip in the tube to blow out any excess moisture by lightly pressing the bulb

– There is also a silica gel container you can use just in case you suspect water damage.  If the aids do get submerged in water you can take the aid apart and put both pieces in the container with a silica gel pack and close the container. It will suck all of the water out so hopefully the aid isn’t damaged.  Our audiologist said they have some that you can heat in the microwave to reactivate so you don’t have to continually purchase the gel packs.

Silica Gel Packs

Place these in the provided container with the aids to absorb any excess moisture

Drying Container

Place a silica pack in the white container. Put the aid in the clear container and then the whole piece into the larger container. Close the lid and leave overnight. The gel pack should absorb any moisture.

– And of course additional batteries. Unfortunately, these are not covered by insurance or medical supply companies. Fortunately, they are fairly inexpensive and last a little while.  The audiologist said batteries last anywhere from 10-15 days, we’ve found that they last closer to 10 days for us Could be due to the settings or the fact that he ALWAYS wears them. We put them in as soon as he wakes and don’t take them out until bed time. We leave them on even for naps.

– We also got a case to keep the hearing aids in when they are not being worn by Braxton.  Our audiologist gave us two. We keep one at home and one in the diaper bag just in case we have to take them off while we are out and about.  The sticker label you see there we bought from www.inchbug.com They have all kinds of custom labels you can purchase. They are really great for EVERYTHING. Dishwasher safe for bottles and peel off easily with no residue.  Worth checking out!!

Case

Case for the hearing aids when not being worn

Case

Case for safe keeping

I think my one complaint is the microphone sensitivity. Sure, you want them to pick up everything so little one can hear, but it’s hard to even hold him without them squealing from being covered.  Anytime his ear is near my arm or chest or my own ear I can hear the squeal.  Thankfully, it doesn’t seem to bother him too much, but I just feel bad. Have YOU ever been near a speaker that squeals?? Yea, not a nice feeling.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the Phonak Nios S H2O hearing aids.  They are very easy to use, easy to clean, and really seem to have made a difference for Braxton. I know he can hear us with them on, and it’s nice to finally have some vocalization from him.

I should probably add, that this is NOT  a paid endorsement. No one made me write this or say anything nice at all about the hearing aids.  I just noticed that there were a lot of searches for baby hearing aids that led people to this blog, so I thought it’d be nice to be a little more informative. That is all. 🙂

Again, if you have ANY questions at all, please leave a comment and I’ll answer as best I can!!

Braxton and the Hearing Aids

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Follow-Up Visits

Busy, busy week around here! Wednesday we went for a follow-up for Braxton’s hands.  Doctor said everything is healing very well! They changed the bandages and put him in dry bandages for us to change daily.  Yikes! Bandages are much less invasive so Braxton is a bit happier to not have them so thick.  Last visit, Braxton screamed and cried the entire time. This time I remembered to give him some pain medicine and he was in his normal happy mood! Yayyy mom! Monday we follow-up again and hopefully the bandages come off completely.

We also followed-up with the audiologist for Brax’s hearing aids on Thursday. Well, dad did. Dad thought the appointment was at 12 instead of 1 so when I left work to meet them he was already calling to tell me they were finished! Dad said the audiologist changed the tubing on one of the aids because it was falling out and other than that she said just to call as he grows and the ear molds need to be changed. We finally put them back in for him once ear drainage from the infection stopped, and he’s been doing well with them.

As usual here are some pics 🙂 OH, and a video! Braxton was in a silly mood and just laughing like crazy with daddy.

 

For more info on the hearing aids, please see this post.

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Nothing Like a Father’s Love

Is that not the sweetest?

“I aint gonna lie..seeing that my son actually hears me when I talk is better than anything else I have experienced. He turns right away to me and smiles all big :)” – Dad (Joseph)

If that doesn’t melt your heart, then what’s wrong with you?!?! Haha just kidding. But really though, I love the bond Joseph and Braxton have with one another. There is truly nothing sweeter than seeing a father and son have a love like they do.  Joseph is gone every other week, and when Brax was first born he would tell me that he was worried Braxton would forget him or not know who he was.  Let me tell you, this little boy KNOWS who his daddy is!! The second Joseph walks in the door Braxton’s face lights up. When he’s right in front of daddy he’s constantly reaching out to his face trying to kiss him or eat his face! haha

Braxton got his hearing aids on Monday afternoon while Joseph was at work.  Joseph came home Tuesday night and so Wednesday was Joseph’s first full day with Braxton. 🙂 When he’s home from work he keeps Braxton at home instead of sending him to daycare. [What a great dad!] Joseph said he really noticed a difference in Braxton and his hearing.  He was much more aware of his surroundings and would actually turn in the direction of where sounds were coming from.  Before, we’d make a sound on his left side and he might hear it but he wouldn’t turn left, he’d just look around trying to figure out what it was and where it came from. Now he turns directly toward the sound. Yayyy!! Progress!  While I’m at work, I see this status update from Joseph: “I aint gonna lie..seeing that my son actually hears me when I talk is better than anything else I have experienced. He turns right away to me and smiles all big :)” and it made my heart smile.  He got to fall in love with his son all over again.  It’s a whole new world for Braxton, and there is so much for him to experience.  I’m glad he can finally hear the man he absolutely adores.

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Braxton gets his Hearing Aids

Today was the day!! I have to admit, I was hoping that as soon as we put the aids on his little eyes would light up and he’d just start talking away…unfortunately that didn’t happen.  The Audiologist explained everything to me as best she could, but I’m more of a hands-on person. Experience is the best teacher, so it’s going to take some time for us to get the hang of it all.  Hey, I figured out his G-Tube, I’m pretty sure I can handle this too.

So, the entire time we were there waiting Braxton was just as wiggly as he could be! He was sitting in my lap just rocking back and forth and smiling like crazy.  As soon as the audiologist put the aids in, he just stopped.  He could obviously tell something was different, but he didn’t quite know how to react. Luckily, it wasn’t to just start shrieking and crying uncontrollably *whew*  He started looking around and just taking everything in.  Thankfully, he did not immediately grab for his ears and try to pull them out.  I really don’t foresee that being a problem with him, but only time will tell.  We stayed with the audiologist for a little while to make sure I had all my questions answered.  The entire time, Brax was just as wide-eyed as he could be.  Big sister came with us to help take photos and video, but  turns out a 6 year old isn’t the best photographer! There are more pics of herself than Brax on my phone! You can see her handy work below 😉

After the appointment, I had to go back in to work and took him with me to wrap up the day.  He was pretty calm there, just continued to look at his surroundings and really just take everything in.  He even took a little nap and didn’t really startle awake with normal office noise.

Anyway, this is a VERY exciting time for us all! This is the first step in really advancing Braxton’s speech.  Hopefully the aids bring him up to “normal” hearing and we start getting some meaningful words out of him…I can’t waitttt!!! He’s going to be talking up a storm in no time…I’m sure of it!

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“Little man with his hearing aids! I’ll update more later, but we finally got them and he immediately just started looking around. You can def tell he is hearing things he hasn’t heard before and is more aware of his surroundings. I’m super excited for him!! :)”

Here is Braxton and his aids, which are surprisingly much smaller than I thought they would be!

Braxton with hearing aids

Braxton wearing his new Phonak NioS H20 Hearing Aids

A few more pics…mostly taken by a 6 year old haha

For more detailed information on the hearing aids, see this post.

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Hearing Aids

So Braxton has been diagnosed with Mild to Moderated Bilateral Mixed Hearing Loss.  Thankfully, the audiologist at Dell who did his ABR says that he can get just about normal hearing with the help of some hearing aids.  This was in May.  Here we are 3 months later and no hearing aids! This in itself has been a mess.  We tried to get set up through our regular ENT who has an audiologist in store, but with our insurance we had to go to a special clinic.  Well that clinic doesn’t work with kids under 2, so they had a big process about making an exception for him.  We went in mid-July to order hearing aids and get molds done of the inside of his ear so the cushion for the aid could get made. We were supposed to pick them up 2 weeks ago.  We got a call that the warehouse somehow lost or never got the molds so we had to do them again.  They said they could be sent via FedEx, but the fee could not be waived.  Joseph decided we should just pay out of pocket to be sure they come in this time, and if not, at least we’d have a tracking number this time.  We go back to the Doctor’s office tomorrow to pick them up *hopefully*

I’m really very anxious to get them.  Up until now, Braxton hasn’t really said any meaningful words.  He’s babbling and cooing like he’s supposed to, but we’re really unsure what he can hear.  The audiologist said he can probably hear when he’s right in front of us, but most likely not from across the room.  Can’t wait to see his face when he can finally hear mom talking to him 🙂

Hopefully he takes off speech wise now too.  So much to look forward to with this next step!

[For update and additional information on the hearing aids, see this post.]

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