COCHLEAR IMPLANTATION (CI)
A cochlear implant (CI) is a surgically implanted electronic device that provides a sense of sound to a person who is acutely deaf or severely hard of hearing in both ears.
CI bypasses the normal hearing process. It has a set of microphone and some electronics that reside outside the skin i.e. generally behind the ear that transmits a signal to an array of electrodes placed in the cochlea, which stimulate the cochlear nerve.
The device is implanted usually under general anaesthesia. Certain risks of CI include mastoiditis, otitis media, shifting of the implanted device requiring a revision procedure, damage to the facial nerve, chorda tympani, and other wound infections. People may often experience dizziness and imbalance for initial few months which generally resolve later.
WHO SHOULD GET A COCHLEAR IMPLANT?
Children can get the devices starting at age of 1. Most of the kids who are diagnosed with significant hearing loss as babies get the CI as soon as possible as it exposes children to sound during the critical period when they are in learning of speech and language mode. The device also can help older children who lose their hearing after they’ve learned to talk.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF A COCHLEAR IMPLANT?
The results aren't the same for everyone. Some patients might benefit more than the rest.
WHAT ARE THE DISADVANTAGES AND RISKS?