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Unilateral Hearing Loss in Children

If you follow my page on Facebook, you already know today was hectic: Breakfast Club, Kalina’s hearing appointment, dropping Judah off to work, and a doctor’s appointment for Avi.

First off, Kalina’s hearing loss….the CT scan confirmed no damage to her inner ear. She was simply born with hearing loss. Next up was to get her fitted for a hearing aid. It was then that we learned something crazy: insurance companies don’t typically cover hearing aids. They don’t have to.

{And, because someone will ask, yes we have private health insurance, no she isn’t on state insurance}

Hearing aids are considered “elective” therefore not covered. Never mind that Kalina cannot hear any vocal tones out her right ear…we were told she was “cleared for hearing aids” if we “choose to go that route”.

Needless to say, we are choosing to go that route, so today was her appointment to be fitted for her hearing aid. At the hearing health clinic, she was able to try on a sample hearing aid and hear sounds out of her right ear for the first time. It was funny to see her face light up when she heard new things. At the moment we are waiting for our tax return, then we will order her hearing aids. Photos will follow once she has it.

head injury, knot on head, how long does it take the bump on my head to go away

Avi hit her head hard at school on March 29. They called me when the incident happened, then about an hour later to come to pick her up because she wasn’t feeling good. In seventeen years of parenting, this was by far the biggest lump I’ve ever seen on a head. We watched her closely and I spoke to the nurse at our doctor’s office the day it happened. She had a headache for a few days, but then they tapered off.

Unfortunately, the headaches had returned right at the site of the trauma and she still has a very noticeable lump on her head. She got the all-clear from her doctor today, but he said it could take 8-10 months for the knot to go  away! And 6-8 weeks for the headaches to cease.





  1. Jessica

    It’s unfortunate that hearing aids are considered “elective”. One more thing to add to the need-for-change list. I’m glad you are able to find a way to fund it.

    My toddler repeatedly hit the same area of his forehead over a few days and he has lumps there still even though it’s been a couple months since he has hit his head in any way. Amazing how long the body takes to heal sometimes.

  2. Suze

    Honey I lost my hearing in my left ear from the mumps. I was seven and finally there is a system that will help me and I am saving the $6000 Aus I need.

    I agree that you are making the right decision. I just think it is so unfair that companies make such decisions and that such equipment is ludicrously expensive. I wish I could make it easier for you.

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Yes, we never considered *not* getting them anymore than we would consider *not* getting glasses for a kid who couldn’t see.

  3. Amber Hanshaw

    One of my dear friend’s daughters has cochlear implants. She was born with hearing but had lost all hearing in both ears by 18 months. Insurance would not cover the implants, saying it was a “cosmetic” procedure. Ridiculous. The only way they were able to get them was to be part of a study.

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Yes, amazingly enough, our insurance wouldn’t cover cochlear implants either (Kalina doesn’t need them, I just learned that through my research into hearing aids). How crazy is that? Hearing is considered completely elective, in line with circumcision or breast implants…how crazy is that???

  4. Tonymasons

    If you have a paypal account, I’d like to forward on a few Euro/Dollars towards Kalina’s hearing aid. I can’t afford much, but every child deserves to be able to hear properly, so I’d be glad to help out.

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Thanks Tony, that’s very sweet. We’ll be able to swing it as soon as we get our money back from the government…we filed weeks ago, so it should be soon. I let Kalina know about your comment and kind offer :)

  5. kris

    Poor Avi. Headaches are the worst especially for kids. And congrats to Kalina! How exciting for her to finally be able to hear in both ears.

  6. Sarah

    My daughter (11 years old at the time) suffered a hit to the head last year. The dr (sports medicine) was very thorough and strict about the concussion. There are concussion protocols that are followed especially if any symptoms remain (like headaches). We were told that the brain needs lots of time to rest. My daughter found thinking (studying for tests, doing math) increased her headaches. She was also told that if she received anymore significant hits to the head within a calendar year she would be off all contact sports for a year. Concussions are being taken very seriously now as they know more about them.
    I hope Avi feels better soon and her headaches don’t last long. It might be interesting to track her headaches and see if there are any triggers.

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Sarah, thanks for the input. The doctor doesn’t believe it is a concussion (due to a lack of other symptoms). If it were a concussion the course of action would be different. Head injuries are so scary.

  7. Samantha

    How scary with Avi!

    Baffled that hearing aids are not covered….I would think in a child that hearing loss (especially from birth) would be considered a disability and therefore covered under some (gov’t) program. However, I don’t know if that is a state thing…where we live there is a large deaf population and NYS has very good social services (I have friends who have both private insurance and medicaid because their children with autism receive waivers). But I only recently discovered that Early Intervention services are not free in all states, so I’m never sure how the state/federal/etc play or don’t play together.

  8. Brenda

    Now, that is a cause worth fighting for! How can hearing aids be considered in any way an elective or cosmetic medical treatment. That is ridiculous.

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Isn’t that just insane?! And she’ll be fighting this fight for the rest of her life. As if hearing vocal tones in optional :(

  9. Shay

    My son is 3 years old and wears hearing aids too :) He has a “moderate to severe” loss in both ears and was born that way. Insurance stinks! They cover nothing and since my guy was born with it they now won’t cover any “ear procedures dealing with the loss” so his 4 sets of tubes he has had to have and the removal of subcutaneous tissue surgeries weren’t covered either! It is awful.

    But I have to admit it is so awesome to see my guy hearing. It is a huge difference with the aids to without. He is only wearing one right now as the other is have repair work done on it (please let them be able to fix it!!!) and I can’t wait for him to be hearing “normally” (for him anyway) again!

    Sorry about Avi that is no good. And yahoo for Kalina to be hearing all she needs too!

  10. Norma Nichols

    I just read an article about hearing aids in the newspaper it said to call the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders at 800-241-1044 and ask them to mail you their list of financial resources for hearing aids, just thought it would be worth a shot to make the call, good luck.

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Thanks, Norma. I have been researching our options but many of the hoops to jump through seem impossible at this point.

  11. Julie

    Hi Renee,

    Not sure if my emails are getting through… since Tate was implanted, we have a spare (older) Phonak HA, that you’re welcome to. I’m sure you’ll want to get her fitted with a newer one, with better technology for her “primary”, but you could probably get your Audie to reprogram this one as a back-up. Because sometimes they have to go in for maintenance… like if they get dropped in someone’s tomato soup… hypothetically


    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Hypothetically, of course! Yes, I got it, I’m just behind on emails. I’ll get back to you today :)

  12. C Smith

    I think it’s just insane that hearing aids are not covered, but I already knew that from experience with my own daughter. She was born with problems that could cause hearing loss. We were told that hearing aids were not covered by insurance, but that without them she would be considered disabled and qualify for disabilty, which included Medicaid, which would pay for aids, but once she had them she probably wouldn’t qualify for disability anymore. Crazy! Thankfully, she only has mild loss in one ear.
    I was shocked recently when I found that our insurance didn’t cover having my daughter’s wisdom teeth removed, we paid $1000 out of pocket. They would have caused tons of problems later on if we had left them in my daughter’s tiny mouth, so it just doesn’t make logical sense.

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