In India, 63 million (6.3%) people suffer from hearing impairment (HI), according to the WHO report from 2018. The estimated prevalence of adult-onset deafness in INDIA is 7.6%. According to the report 7% were borne with hearing disability & 62% reported onset of disability after the age of 60 yrs. Right now, the entire world is caught amidst Corona Crisis & struggling in terms of social,economic & healthy living. A patient of ours, 54 year old person who struggled with hearing loss believed that money equals happiness. But the Corona crisis changed his mind and now he believes that he ‘fittest is the richest’.
Excerpts from his experience -
My sense of hearing started deteriorating 20 years back. I lived in a very small town and the Cochlear Implant to cure hearing loss was unheard of. Till June 2016, I was using good old hearing aids. As a matter of fact, many people still believe that using older hearing aids helps in improving hearing loss.
Coming to terms with profound deafness was extremely difficult for me. It was hard to accept. Meaningful conversations with friends and family stopped. I have a huge collection of Md Rafi’s music and I thought of it as a waste. I started remaining aloof and felt sad. One day I thought of a saying ‘God helps those who help themselves’ and I decided to look for options to cure my hearing loss.
I decided to come to Delhi and fixed an appointment with Dr. Sumit Mrig, at Max Smart Hospital, Saket. As per my research, Cochlear Implant was usually an option, open to infants or toddlers. But much to my surprise, Dr. Mrig advised me to get it done.
A cochlear implant is a small electronic device that electrically stimulates the cochlear nerve (nerve for hearing). The implant has external and internal parts. The external part sits behind the ear. It picks up sounds with a microphone. It then processes the sound and transmits it to the internal part of the implant.
‘Surgery’ is a frightening term. Although I’m a full-grown adult, it still scares me. I asked Dr. Mrig a zillion questions, till I was finally convinced that this is indeed the best option available for profound hearing loss.
Before the Cochlear Implant, I had to ask the same think again and again for clarity and people avoided interacting with me. But now the situation is different. It has been a few months, and I am already accustomed to it. Not able to hear was frustrating and night-marish sometimes! The world has become pleasant again. I am back in conversation with my family and friends. Even in a noisy setting, I can focus on the person I am talking to. Creaking furniture, loud music, the sound of a fan, or the loud clank of utensils, nothing bothers me anymore. Not to forget, music is back in my life too!