In India 63 million people suffer from significant hearing loss. Nationwide disability surveys have estimated hearing loss to be the second most common cause of disability. Children who are born deaf fail to develop normal speech and become deaf-mutes or deaf and dumb individuals. These children find it difficult to cope in normal schools. Besides; their social interactions become limited creating a social handicap leading to a sense of isolation. Deaf-mutism can be cause of ineligibility for many jobs. Ever since the invention of cochlear implants; millions across the globe have benefitted from this device. Cochlear implantation helps integrate hearing impaired individuals into the hearing world thus opening doors for equal opportunities for them
Cochlear implantation is an operation by which a device (cochlear implant) is inserted into the cochlea (inner ear). The cochlear implant is a complex device which helps in converting sound energy into electrical impulses which are then sent to the brain. This function is usually done by the cochlea in a normal hearing individual.
Children who are born deaf and adults with acquired deafness are candidates for cochlear implantation. A cochlear implant candidate requires to under-go a hearing aid trial and speech therapy for a few months before he/she is declared suitable for implantation. Enough stress cannot be placed on the importance of auditory verbal therapy or training after the surgery.
Our hospital has a successfully running cochlear implant program. With trained surgeons and a competent team of audiologists and therapists, we at Al shifa are well equipped to handle the surgical procedure and pre and post implant therapy.
We have introduced the neonatal hearing screening program which helps to detect hearing deficits at an early stage. This gives adequate time for planning the therapy and the surgical procedure.
The cost of implantation used to be a major concern especially for poor un-affording patients. The government scheme ( Shruthi Tharangam) under which Al Shifa hospital is included makes it possible for all income groups to afford this treatment.
Cochlear implant is an engineering marvel and indeed a boon to deaf/mute individuals. By overcoming the hearing handicap, they are better prepared to make their mark in this highly competitive world