When Ashton told Cochlear about her experience with baby Hazel and Baha®, she shared her ideas and advice to help other parents. This article is based on her story because sometimes the best advice comes from someone who has been in your shoes.
Hazel was born with a congenital condition called microtia with atresia. In short, her left ear has a small outer ear and no external ear canal. Her right ear has perfect hearing, but she could hear nothing on her left side. Despite their initial worries, Ashton and Mike were reassured by an early appointment with specialist clinicians. An Auditory Brainstem Response test established that Hazel had moderate to severe conductive hearing loss on her left side and Hazel could be helped to hear with a bone conduction hearing device.
Cochlear understands the value of early access to hearing so, for babies and small children, it’s important that they begin wearing their Baha device as soon as possible. Hazel initially wore her Baha with a Softband which works well for very young infants. Since that time, Cochlear has introduced the adjustable SoundArc head band that comes in different sizes (including extra small for extra small heads!)
Hazel was overwhelmed when she first wore her Baha because she had become accustomed to hearing only from her right side. But, after a few days, her parents quickly realised the benefits of Hazel wearing her Baha for extended periods. They also learned through trial and error what made their lives easier … and every parent appreciates those kinds of ideas!
Here are Ashton and Mike’s tips for parents of infants wearing a Baha device. We hope you will find something useful.
Whether you are a parent or you wear a Baha yourself, what are your tips that you would pass on to other Cochlear Family members? How do you cope in unusual situations? Do you have a tip for travel or being away from home? Is there something you wish you had known about Baha months ago? Please let us know so that we can share your ideas with others.
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