Cochlear implants are electrical devices that bypass the middle and inner ear and collect the audio signals emitted from the source and directly send it to the audio processing unit of the brain. This device apes the original functionality of the hair cells present in the cochlea and converts the received audio signals into electrical impulses and sends them to the brain. This device can be best used both by deaf children and adults who were once able to hear and know their language and also by those who were deaf by birth.
Apart from the aforementioned conditions it is also required that the patient should be evaluated by an ENT specialist, who, basis MRI Scan and CT scan of brain and inner ear feels that the procedure of implant will be beneficial for the patient.
What is the Optimum age for an implant?
It has been observed that cochlear implant proves to be a success even if the patient is in his/her adolescence; however, the chances are best if this procedure is carried out at a young age. The best results have been with children below 2 years of age.
What are the benefits of a cochlear implant?
Benefits of binaural implant
Binaural hearing is the phenomena of hearing with both the ears. Human being and many others in the animal kingdom are gifted with this type of sound synthesis. Additionally, when we hear from both the ear it is less taxing for the ears and also for the brain. Binaural hearing can also be called as “Stereo” hearing whereas “Mono” hearing is when we hear from only one ear. Stereo hearing also helps us to finely recognize various voices even in a noisy environment. The cochlear implant procedure that is performed to restore or instate binaural hearing is called the binaural implant. This implant procedure is equally beneficial to patient of all ages, unless in the patient of extremely old age. This implant is also known to instate the quality to localize sounds and ability to distinguish voices.
When cochlear implant is performed on a child below two years of age, it is less taxing to teach them how to listen and speak. However, when the same procedure is performed on patient who has been fully, partially trained to understand visual clues and lip movement or have been following visual clues and lip movement to understand things and communicate, teaching them how to listen and what to understand and how to speak is certainly a tremendous task. To simplify the same, Audi Verbal Training (AVT) is imparted to such patients. This is standard procedure that is followed as post-op rehabilitation measure. The AVT module of rehabilitation, however, requires dedicated effort from the patient and also considerable support from family and friend of the patient.