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Do cochlear implants benefit infants with hearing disabilities ?

Hello Sir, We blessed with Baby boy who premature came in 35 weeks of preganancy. Our Doctor advised to performed BERA test , in which we come to know that he is not able to hear at all. Can we have treatement cure this problem and what will it cost totally. Is there any post operative expenses also?
Asked On : Sun, 27 Mar 2011
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ENT Specialist 's  Response
Kindly get the following tests done. I assume that an OAE (Oto Acoustic Emission) Test has been done earlier.

1. ASSR (Auditory Steady State Response) Testing

2. Aided Audiometry / ASSR

3. Aided Behavioral / Play Observation Audiometry

4. Impedence Audiogram to rule out middle ear defects.

5. Genetic Testing.

6. MRI & HRCT Temporal Bones.

It is important to know that if sound does not reach the brain within the first few years, it may never develop the ability to understand speech due to a process known as Neural Scavenging where that part of the brain reserved for hearing is taken up by the other senses. A hearing aid is a priority to amplify as much sound as possible till the diagnosis of the exact problem. A word of caution: Auditory Nerve defects and Auditory Neuropathy are not amenable treatment with to Cochlear Implants.The former can be ruled out on scans but the latter is known only after implantation.

A good hearing aid will cost Rs, 20,000/- each. If he hears well, continue the use of the hearing aids. If not, consider a Cochlear Implant. Cochlear implants cost between Rs. 5,00,000 to Rs. 10,00,000/- each depending upon the forex rates and the type of electrode and speech processor. The three major companies are:

1. Cochlear

2. Med-El

3. Advanced Bionics

Operative expenses are between 10 to 20 percent of the cost of the Implant. There is an extensive Rehabiltation effort (about 1-2 years) and cost thereof. Cochlear Implants normally consume batteries leading to a recurrent cost of approximately Rs. 2000/- per month. Some damage can occur eg. to cables, casing, magnets etc. during normal use.

What is his age? Implantation is usually done beyond the age of 1 year. A special Immunization is required before a Cochlear Implant operation.
Answered: Mon, 28 Mar 2011
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