All Waking Hours: The Importance of Always Wearing Your Hearing-Assistive Technology

All Waking Hours: The Importance of Always Wearing Your Hearing-Assistive Technology

Early diagnosis and amplification is crucial in ensuring that your child with hearing loss is successful with listening and spoken language. But once your child is fitted with hearing aids and cochlear implants, the work is just beginning.

You can give your child who is deaf or hard of hearing the best chance at success by having them wear their hearing-assistive devices for all waking hours. This may seem daunting, but its importance cannot be understated.

What are All Waking Hours?

Removing cochlear implants and hearing aids at bedtime is acceptable and actually has multiple benefits. Devices will remain safe, batteries can be recharged, your child’s ears and equipment can air out, and sleep may actually be more comfortable.

When it is recommended that equipment is worn for all waking hours, this means that when your child wakes up, they should immediately put on their hearing aids or cochlear implants. There may be circumstances that lead to devices being removed from time to time, but whenever possible, this hearing-assistive technology should be functioning and on their heads while they are awake.

Why is it Important to Wear Devices All the Time?

All Waking Hours: The Importance of Always Wearing Your Hearing-Assistive Technology

Children with hearing loss who are trying to develop listening and spoken language have to work harder to do so than children with typical hearing. They may also be trying to catch up from missed development time before they received amplification. 

While children with typical hearing are receiving auditory input 24 hours a day, children who are deaf and hard of hearing must do their best to also achieve this goal. Wearing equipment for all waking hours allows children with hearing loss to maximize auditory input and stimulate auditory development. This, in turn, leads to the building of proficient speech, language and literacy skills. 

Every minute that a child with hearing loss is not wearing their listening devices is a missed opportunity to enhance development. It may seem inconsequential at the time, but for a child working hard to maintain pace with listening peers, it is important to capitalize on every chance to increase development.

Keep Devices Working Optimally

All Waking Hours: The Importance of Always Wearing Your Hearing-Assistive Technology

While wearing devices for all waking hours is supremely important, it becomes critical that hearing aids and cochlear implants are working efficiently to maximize success. A device producing distorted sound or no sound at all is a hindrance to your child’s development and can negate the positive effects of wearing equipment for all waking hours. Taking care of your hearing-assistive technology is imperative. 

Daily listening checks where your child repeats a series of sounds can alert you to possible issues with sound quality. Older children may be able to express problems they are having with sound, but for younger children and toddlers, using your device’s testing equipment to listen for yourself should be done on a daily basis. 

Routine audiological appointments should be kept to maintain optimal sound quality. Your audiologist can check for sound imperfections, troubleshoot issues and put your child in the best position to maximize development moving forward.

Overcoming Challenges in Keeping Devices On

CCHAT understands that getting your child to wear their devices for all waking hours can be a challenge. We encourage you to read our Strategies for Keeping Hearing Aids and Cochlear Implants on Young Children. Additionally, CCHAT has many parents and staff members who have faced this challenge and who are willing to talk to you about obstacles you are facing. Use our contact page to share your questions and receive tips specific to your child.  

The Most Important Rule

The development of listening and spoken language cannot happen if a child is not receiving sound. Wearing hearing aids and cochlear implants for all waking hours gives children who are deaf and hard of hearing every chance to grow their skills and achieve academic outcomes on par with their hearing peers. Hearing-assistive technology should be a constant for your child with hearing loss.

For more helpful tips to maximize your child’s development, visit our blog section. To learn about the services CCHAT provides to children with hearing loss and their families, visit our programs page

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