How Hearing Aids Help Kids Learn Better?

Contributed by Debbie Clason, staff writer, Healthy Hearing

Last updated June 9, 2020

It's well-known that untreated hearing loss can impact school performance. Fortunately, though, research also shows that hearing aids and other interventions (such as cochlear implants) can help minimize the impact of hearing loss. 

For example, a University of Iowa study showed that hearing-impaired children learn language and speech better when they use hearing aids.

Researchers followed 180 preschool-aged hearing-impaired children recruited through records of universal newborn screening and referrals from clinical service providers from six U.S. states.

All of the children who wore hearing aids experienced better speech and language development compared to children with untreated hearing loss. The study also found that the longer the child had worn hearing aids, the better their speech and language development.

"The cautionary note from our research is that any degree of hearing loss, even mild, can place children at risk. Our study shows that the risk can be minimized with early and aggressive intervention,” said Bruce Tomblin, an emeritus professor in the University of Iowa’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, in a news release.