My Speech & Hearing Clinic runs one of India’s leading Cochlear Implant programs. We work in close cooperation with the leading Cochlear Implant companies and leading surgeons across the country.
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If there’s anything that can mimic the natural hearing function of the inner ear, it is cochlear implants! A cochlear implant is a small, complex electronic device that is designed to help a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard-of-hearing. The implant is surgically implanted into the ear which aims to replace the function of a damaged inner ear. The implant consists of two parts i.e. one external portion that sits behind the ear and a second portion that is surgically placed under the skin.
Unlike hearing aids, which primarily work by amplifying the sounds for people with reduced hearing capabilities; a cochlear implant provides a sense of sound by directly stimulating the auditory nerve. Signals generated by the implant are sent by way of the auditory nerve to the brain, which recognizes the signals as sound. It completely bypasses the dysfunctional normal hearing mechanism and stimulates the auditory nerve directly. Cochlear implants are best advised for people with profound hearing loss as they will create a sensation of sound by bypassing the damaged inner ear.
Cochlear implant surgery is recommended to a patient, in the following conditions:
1. A person is currently experiencing hearing loss in both the ears
2. The hearing aid is not of much use for patient
3. A person can hear but with poor clarity
4. A person does not have any other medical issues that can increase the risk of surgery
Implanting the cochlear implant involves a surgical procedure and should only be performed by experienced surgeons. Also, the health and general well-being of the candidate undergoing cochlear implants matters. Let us understand that further.
Cochlear Implants are used worldwide for both children and adults. While it is not possible to predict exact benefits for each cochlear implant user, the following guidelines may be helpful:
1. Older children and adults with previous speech and language development generally perform better with a cochlear implant
2. A long period of profound hearing loss may limit the benefits of a cochlear implant
1. Individuals 18 years of age or older
2. Moderate to profound sensorineural hearing loss in both ears
3. Limited benefit from amplification (hearing aids) defined by preoperative test scores of ≤ 50% sentence recognition in the ear to be implanted and ≤60% in the opposite ear or binaurally
1. Implantation at a young age is highly recommended because hearing is important for language development and because research has shown better outcomes for children implanted at an early age
2. Children can be implanted as soon as 6 months of age
3. Profound sensori-neural hearing loss
4. Limited benefit from binaural amplification (hearing aids)