Wednesday, 1 April 2015

I'm Picking Up Good Vibrations

Surprise!  Gideon has a hearing aid.

Yesterday I went to London to have Gideon fitted for a hearing aid.  The hearing aid that he is using is a bone conduction hearing aid.  It looks and works a little differently than the hearing aids most people are familiar with.  It is worn using a band attached to a hearing aid that vibrates with sound.  The vibrations travel through his bone/skull allowing him to hear through "bone conduction".  The hearing aid that most people are familiar with uses something called "air conduction".  This is when a hearing aid is placed in the ear and the sound is amplified.  At this point the plan is to have Gideon use the bone conduction aid until he has his surgery to drain the fluid from his ears and to clean out the blocking wax.  The ENT doctor is fairly certain that he will still have hearing loss after the fluid is drained and the wax is removed.  They will do a hearing test on him (called the ABaer test) after the surgery, while he is still sedated, that will monitor his brain waves in response to different sounds.  This will determine if and how much hearing loss he still has.  The plan is then for him to be fitted with the more traditional hearing aids, in both ears.

The hearing aid he has now is not ideal; It only addresses the hearing loss in his left ear and it may be a problem/get in the way when trying to work on his gross motor skills.  At least he is now hearing things though.  So far he has been fairly tolerant and we are just really excited.  

The band does seems to be a little awkward.  It has slipped down a couple of times and Gideon has been "exploring" the new hearing aid.  This hearing aid is worth $4800.  We are very fortunate that there is a loaner program that lets family's try out hearing aids for free- We didn't have to pay a dime!  But... if it does get broken or lost it is a different story.  We do have to pay for the batteries though.  One battery usually lasts 5-7 days depending on how often they are used and how loud his environment is. ( LOL - with Alex around it wouldn't surprise me if we will find ourselves in the 3-4 day range.)  I'm a little nervous that Gideon might mouth it or Alex might run off and play with it or that the dog might get annoyed with the high pitch feedback and try to eat it.  I guess we will just have to be extra careful with the new hearing aid.

When I told John about the hearing aid being attached with a band and that it looked a little weird, he asked me if we could make it look like an 80's sweatband. It got me thinking.  Stay tuned... let's see what a little creativity can do to help Gideon rock the headband look.

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