Statistics on hearing problem in children?
Many studies have been carried out to determine the prevalence of hearing loss in children. It is generally accepted that from 6 to 12 % of school going children have some degree of hearing loss. With a total of about 150 million children in the age group of 0-6 years, this is a huge number. The percentage is higher in rural than urban children, the commonest cause being Otitis Media, a condition that is easily treatable. It is also known that earache is amongst one of the most common causes for a parent to bring a child to an ENT doctor.
Cochlear Implant – FAQs
Can we implant both ears together?
The current international recommendation is to implant both ears together – the advantages are better speech recognition. Apart from avoiding a second surgery at a later date it also leads to lower cost overall.
Are adults’ good candidates for Cochlear Implant?
Yes, the Cochlear Implant helps adults with progressive hearing loss who are not receiving any benefit from conventional hearing aids.
Typically the following will benefit
- - Adults who have had bilateral ear trauma with severe to profound hearing loss, following Ototoxic drug intake (drugs which destroy inner ear hair cells) following meningitis
- - Failed middle ear surgeries with cochlear deafness.
- - Those with auto immune inner ear disease
How long does the whole process take?
The initial assessment takes place in the clinic where apart from ENT examination and Audiological assessment, an initial counselling session is held. The patient is then subjected to detailed Audiological testing, including BERA Radiological tests as indicated. Further tests may include a CT scan as well as an MRI, Psycho-social assessment, Medical assessment – routine tests and a pre anaesthesia assessment to check for fitness for surgery.
The surgery itself takes about 3 hours in routine cases.
The ear dressing is kept in place for about a week.
The implant is switched on after 3-4 weeks.
After a successful Cochlear Implant the child will require reprogramming or ‘mapping’.
Habilitation Schedule – an implanted child will need to come for regular habilitation work up, which could be once a week or once in two weeks. This could also be combined with mapping exercise.
Since my child’s skull will continue to grow as he ages, would he need a new implant in a few years?
The cochlea is at its full size at birth. There is plenty of extra wire inside to take care of any growth in the mastoid bone as the child grows.
Will the Cochlear Implant patient be able to use a telephone after the surgery?
The external speech processor includes an inbuilt telecoil and this allows sound from most telephones to travel directly to the processor. However, results can vary depending upon many factors, including duration of your deafness.
What about a child with auditory dyssynchrony or Neuropathy?
There are no definite guidelines in this regard since the disease process is not very well understood. However, delay in acquiring speech and language would be an indication for the surgery.