Hearing loss is one of the most common disorders of the ear and can affect anyone in their lifetime. Various reasons are responsible for causing hearing loss and the treatment is based on which type of hearing loss the patient is suffering from.
By scheduling an appointment with our audiologist or ENT specialist and going through hearing evaluation test, your doctor will arrive at the right treatment plan for you.
Let's look at the solution for Permanent Hearing Loss which is best aided by Cochlear Implants, an electronic medical device that bypasses the damaged parts of the inner ear (cochlea) to provide sound signals to the brain.
In severe hear loss conditions, people suffer because their hair cells in the inner ear (or cochlea) are damaged. The cochlear implant enables the sound to be transferred to your hearing nerve and enables you to hear.
Cochlear Implants do not restore a person's hearing completely. Also, the quality of sound created by the device is comparatively lower to hearing sounds naturally. They provide hearing abilities that allow recipients to have a better understanding of speech and an awareness of sounds in their immediate surroundings.
Cochlear devices in both ears (bilateral) help improve one's ability to identify the direction of sound and separate the sounds you want to hear from those you don't.
Having Cochlear Implants should be part of an overall therapy program in the hearing loss management. An audiologist will work with you to help your brain make sense of the new information being sent by the implants.
Normally adults who had some degree of useful hearing before becoming severely impaired and barely benefit from hearing aids, may qualify as candidates for cochlear implantation. Others who can go for it include, one year old children with profound hearing loss in both ears, and who demonstrate little poor development of auditory skills may also be considered candidates.
Cochlear implants can work wonders to cure children, who are deaf and as a consequence, dumb. This operation can only be done on children up to six years say specialists.
It takes about 2 hours for Cochlear Implant surgery which is done under general anesthesia. An incision is made behind the ear to create a seat in the bone for securing and protecting the implant package in it. By opening the mastoid bone, the cochlea is identified and a tiny opening is made in it. An electrode array is placed into the cochlea through that opening, called cochleostomy.
The dressing is then placed over the ear for 24 hours. The operation is minimally painful, requiring pain relief medication only on the day of surgery in most instances. Often most patients are discharged the very same day as the surgery.
After a week of the surgery, your audiologist will check the surgery site for healing. The first programming and stimulation occurs at 3 to 4 weeks after the surgery.
Getting a cochlear implant is a lifetime commitment. A number of programming sessions are necessary after a month of the surgery to fine tune the hearing. While sounds will be audible immediately at programming, understanding them can be very poor. Gradually the person gets accustomed to understanding the speech and recognizing environmental sounds over the first 3 months.
Follow-up visits to the audiologist are necessary for: The fitting of the external components of the implant; Activating and programming of the implant and its microphone, speech processor and transmitter; Necessary adjustments and reprogramming, and annual check-ups. Children implanted with Cochlear devices often require years of extensive aural rehabilitation, whereas adults with acquired deafness may not need formal aural rehabilitation.
People using cochlear implants reported:
The latest Cochlear Implant technologies are having remote controllers; increasingly compatible with smartphones and allowing recipients to use their implant processors while swimming.
Like every surgical procedure, Cochlear Implant surgery may also bring with it certain risks, such as:
The cost of cochlear Implant may start at Rs. 5 lakhs in Hyderabad. Very few private hospitals have the facility to perform this surgery. The cochlear implant cost has been reduced significantly in India because of the initiatives taken by our government as compared to other countries. The treatment cost may vary based upon individual case and the severity of the problem. The exact cost of cochlear implants can be determined after reviewing the individuals condition.
Dr. Kalyan Chakravarthy who is an experienced Otolaryngologist, and has done over 50 Cochlear Implant procedures, will be performing the surgery. Once all the basic investigations and follow-ups are done at BSR Hospital, Secunderabad, Dr. Kalyan will be performing the surgery at KIMS Hospital, Secunderabad, as this procedure needs advanced and specialized equipment.
Dr. Kalyan Chakravarthy is also associated with KIMS Hospitals, Secunderabad as Honorary Consultant. Apart from the hospital protocols, Dr. Kalyan Chakravarthy takes special care of all his patients educating them on the procedure, the benefits and the risks while answering their queries patiently, with a smile.