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Ask Anna: Should my child with mild hearing loss be using a Roger microphone?

mild hearing loss in the classroom
Ask Anna is a weekly advice column for the hearing loss community. 

Dear Anna,

My son has mild hearing loss and currently only uses hearing aids in the classroom. Am I doing him a disservice?

Thank you!

– Nicole

Dear Nicole,

If your son has been prescribed hearing aids for his hearing loss and he is happy to wear them at school I am working on the assumption that they provide benefit for him in the classroom. With a mild hearing loss, at home, when there are only one or two people together in a quiet room it may appear that your son is coping to hear perfectly well, however as soon as the listening situation changes or gets more challenging even someone with a mild hearing loss will struggle.

Mild hearing loss in the classroom

One of our Phonak hEARos, Kayla, describes her struggles with having mild hearing loss in the classroom.

“When you have mild-moderate hearing loss, you aren’t always aware of how much information you are missing in the classroom,” she says. “For me personally, it is hard to analyze exactly how much I have really missed. I just know that sometimes I heard things and sometimes I didn’t. It is hard to pinpoint the specifics of information missed with a mild-moderate hearing loss because it’s not always a whole word you are missing–it’s syllables and frequencies within that word. I always seemed to learn a little slower than my classmates, as I tended to zone out often.”

“… you aren’t always aware of how much information you are missing in the classroom.”

Read more: How mild-moderate hearing loss often is overlooked in the classroom

You may also want to keep in mind that a recent study found that using a microphone, such as the Phonak Roger Microphone, in addition to hearing aids can help children expand their vocabulary and hear more words per day. The effects of microphone usage might not be seen immediately, but it could help your child in the long run.

Read more: How children with hearing loss can hear 5,300 more words every day

However, we also know with any level of hearing loss more effort is needed to hear even when the listening conditions are good. If your son is happy wearing his hearing aids why not let him wear them around the home? Then see if you both notice any differences to how he communicates. If you feel he is struggling to hear or does not want to wear the hearing aids speak with your audiologist and see if they can help.

Please contact me if you have any further questions.

– Anna

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The information provided through this website should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Hearing Like Me website. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or emergency medical services immediately.
Author Details
Anna is currently the Senior Audiology Manager at Phonak. She has worked in the field of audiology and hearing aids for 25 years, and is passionate about all things audiology.