Cochlear Implant In Children - How Does It Work?

Cochlear Implant In Children

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Does your child suffer from hearing loss? Is he lagging behind in his language development? Are you thinking of getting him cochlear implants, but are unsure whether it would be safe for him or not? If these questions are worrying you, then you should consider reading our post.

Early onset deafness is a common childhood disability. There was a time when you could nothing about it. But thanks to technology, everything is possible now. For kids who are born deaf, cochlear implants give hope of restoring the ability to sense sound. Read on to find out more about cochlear implants in children and how they can benefit your child.

What Is Hearing Loss?

The cochlea is a snail-shaped tube located in the area of the ear which contains the nerves. Its function is to gather the signals from sound vibrations and transmit to the auditory nerves. The nerve then sends these signals to the brain, where they turn into the recognizable sounds. When some parts of the cochlea do not work pr

operly, and the hearing nerve is not stimulated, then the electrical signals do not get to the brain, which often leads to hearing loss.

[ Read: Signs of Hearing Loss In Children ]

What Is A Cochlear Implant In Children?

A cochlear implant or a bionic ear is a small electronic device that provides a sense of sound to deaf children. It helps such children listen to the voices of their near and dear ones, talk on the phone and listen to music. The implants are ideal for children of 12 months or older with profound hearing loss in one or both ears.

How Does A Cochlear Implant Work?

A cochlear implant is entirely different from a hearing aid. It stimulates the inner ear area with electrical signals. It then sends those signals to the hearing nerve, allowing the user to hear. The implant does not restore normal hearing. It gives a deaf child a useful representation of sounds in the environment and helps him understand speech.

[ Read: Perforated Eardrum In Kids ]

Cochlear Implant Package:

The cochlear implant package consists of the following parts:

It contains a receiver stimulator that has all the electronic circuits to control the flow of electrical pulses into the ears. It has a microphone that picks up sound from the environment. It contains an antenna that helps to receive the signals from the external sound and speech processor. The magnet in the cochlear implant package holds the speech processor and external sound in place. There is also a wire containing electrodes that act like normal functioning hair cells and stimulate the hearing nerve.

Eligibility For Cochlear Implants For Children:

Not every child is eligible for a cochlear implant. The cochlear implant team evaluates each potential candidates, to determine whether the implant is ideal for him or not. Some of the common reasons of ineligibility include:

The child can hear some speech and sound with the hearing aids. The reason for the hearing loss is not a problem with the cochlea. If the child experiences deafness for a long period, it can affect the hearing nerve.

[ Read: Symptoms Of Auditory Processing Disorder In Children ]

Surgery For Children With Cochlear Implants:

The cochlear implant surgery takes around 2 to 4 hours. The surgery involves securing the implant package inside the skull and then threading electrode wires into the spirals of the cochlea.

To secure the implant, the surgeon will drill a 3 to 5-millimeter bed into the temporal bone. He will then open up the mastoid bone behind the ear to allow access to the middle ear. Then he will drill a tiny hole in the cochlea and insert the electrode wires. Finally, the surgeon will secure the implant package and will close the incision. You do not need to get the stitches removed. The stitches will dissolve on their own.

[ Read: Ototoxicity In Children ]

Things To Expect After The Surgery:

Your child would need to wear a dressing over the implant area for 24 houses. He may experience mild to moderate pain after the surgery. If the pain is unbearable, then please contact the doctor right away. He may also feel dizzy and off-balance after a few days after the surgery.

Remember, your child will need tremendous support and interaction from you. So be there for him whenever he needs you.

Hope you liked our post on cochlear implant in children. Did you get your child cochlear implants? How did he deal with it? Please share your kid’s experience with us in the comment section.

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