It is a surgically implanted electronic device that is used by people who receive minimal or no benefit from conventional hearing aid. Often referred to as bionic ear, it works using special technologies to take place of non-working parts in the ear. It is capable of converting sound to electronic signal, which stimulates the 8th nerve.
Cochlear implants provide a heightened sense of sound to adults and children with profound hearing loss. The implants bypass the damaged hair cells in the inner ear and directly stimulate the auditory nerve to send information to the nerve. These are not responsible for restoring or creating new hearing.
It is a proven medical option to help your children with hearing loss communicate/interact more effectively with others.
What are its components?
- Sound is received by the microphone
- Sound is transmitted from the microphone to the speech processor which digitalizes the sound into coded signals.
- Coded signals are then sent to transmitter which sends across the skin into the internal implant and convert it into electrical signals.
- The signals are then sent to electrodes to stimulate internal implant.
Is there any Preoperative Assessment involved?
The assessment includes:
- Evaluation of hearing
- Communication ability
- Cochlear morphology
- Middle ear and mastoid status
- General developmental issues
What are the different audiological tests?
The different tests that are conducted to assess the problem are:
- Auditory brain stemimplant (ABR) or electrocochleography (ECochG).
- Behavioral testing – using tests such as visual response audiometry.
- Older children with post lingual deafness, standard pure tone and aided free field tests are performed along with speech discrimination.
- An aided audiogram.
What is the purpose of Psychological Assessment and Preoperative Counselling?
The purpose of this is:
- To determine the intellectual ability of the child
- Identify family issues that may affect implantation and post implant performance.
- Ability to assist in the delivery of an intense postoperative programme to enable the child to develop receptive and expressive oral language skills.
- Assessment of both the recipient’s and his/her family expectations for the device. If expectations are unrealistic, they can be modified prior to implantation.<
What are the procedures available?
The different surgical techniques that are available are:
Surgery under general anesthesia is required to implant the internal components. The receiver / stimulator assembly is placed inside the temporal bone and the electrodes are inserted into the cochlea, which in turn directly stimulates the hearing nerve. The implantation procedure usually takes about one to two hours.
- Mapping & Switch On:
After three to four weeks the incision should be healed. At this point, the programming of the speech processor will be carried out and the external parts of the implant will be hooked up. The implantee will begin to hear then.
- Auditory Verbal Therapy:
Children who are not exposed to the hearing world must undergo extensive habilitation to improve their speech, language and hearing skills.
Our experts follow a multi-disciplinary approach to enable the child to learn passively about the environment. The implants are responsible for addressing receptive and expressive language skills.