30 November 2019
Dr Ashok Gupta, Director & HOD, ENT/Otorhinolaryngology at Fortis Hospital, Mohali while addressing the Bathinda media person at a press conference here emphasized the need for Cochlear Implant surgery in children during early days. “Most of the children remain undiagnosed or are diagnosed very late. Dr Gupta advised for regular medical check-up with specialist so that it can be diagnosed early, and corrective surgery can be taken for a better quality of life”, he said.
A cochlear implant is an electronic medical device that replaces the function of the damaged inner ear. Unlike hearing aids, which make sounds louder, cochlear implants bypass the damaged hair cells of the inner ear (cochlea) to provide sound signals to the brain.
Dr Ashok Gupta said, “Children, who do not cry at birth, are at higher risk of getting hearing impaired and delayed mental development, if left untreated. Children undergoing surgery for cochlear implant as young as 6 to 9 months have highest rate of success. Generally, children can be treated up-to the age of 9 years. However, the rate of success decreases with increase in age.”
Talking about early detection and treatment, Dr Gupta added, “Unfortunately, most children remain undiagnosed or are diagnosed very late. It can be diagnosed early, and corrective surgery can be done for a better quality of life.”
Government of India has started early intervention in the form of ‘Otoacoustic emission’ as a screening test to be done for every hospital born child, though it is not being followed strictly. It is done only for high risk cases i.e. children who had significant jaundice/cried late after birth etc. These children require evaluation in the form of field audiometry, ABER & ASSR. Then further evaluation is to see whether cochlear (Hearing Organ) is formed or not by getting CT scan & MRI of temporal bone.
Dr Gupta said,‘’Success in Cochlear Surgery is purely dependent upon right candidate selection, right evaluation & good quality of implant in addition to surgical technique. The best results, however are obtained if the implant is done early in life, as early as 6 months of age.”
Cochlear Implantation is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make for yourself or your loved one’s journey to successful hearing. If your child failed a newborn hearing screening test or still struggles to hear with hearing aids, then Cochlear Implant is the blessing he needs’. Consult with your Cochlear Implant Surgeon to determine whether cochlear implants are the right choice to treat your child’s hearing loss.
Dr Gupta has already done over 800 cochlea implantations.