Devices And Implants
Bayya ENT provides audiology and speech language pathology services to children from birth to adulthood. This includes testing to determine the degree and type of hearing loss a child may have, fitment of devices to address any hearing loss (including hearing aids, bone conduction devices and cochlear implants), and assessment of the development of listening and communication skills, especially speech and oral language. We work closely with children’s school and therapy personnel so that we may be effectively, one team working towards the best possible communication outcomes for children with auditory disorders.
Cochlear Implants : Multi-channel cochlear implants have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use by children since 1990. Currently, three manufacturers make implants for sale in the US: Cochlear Corporation, Advanced Bionics, and MedEl Corporation.
As per FDA regulations, children may be candidates for cochlear implantation if they are at least 12 months of age and have severe to profound hearing loss with inadequate benefit from hearing aids to support development of auditory oral skills.
Regardless of manufacturer or model, all cochlear implants have the same basic features: a microphone picks up sound and converts it to an electrical signal which is transmitted to a speech processor worn either behind the ear or on the body. The processor encodes the signal in a manner that is specific to the particular implant, and the encoded signal is relayed to a transmitting coil held in place on the side of the head, usually by means of a magnet. The signal is sent across the skin via a radio frequency to the receiver which has been surgically implanted under the skin above and behind the ear. The receiver decodes the signal and relays the information to electrodes that have been placed in the cochlea. The electrodes stimulate structures connecting to the auditory nerve and thus the system provides improved access to sound;
In our program, surgery is performed under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis; child goes into the hospital early in the morning and goes home the same day. Three weeks later, the child comes back to the audiology department for the programming of the speech processor, and these programming or “mapping” sessions are repeated at frequent intervals until optimal levels are achieved, and then annually along with other progress assessments to monitor auditory development language skill levels
Considering Cochlear Implantation
If you are not familiar with cochlear implants, you’ll find it helpful to spend some time visiting our centre which is attended by children with implants or spend time with families of children about your child’s age or older who use cochlear implants.
Our cochlear implant centre typically uses a multidisciplinary approach to determining candidacy, and your child shall be evaluated by the surgeon, audiologist, speech language pathologist and psychologist who, as a team, will discuss with you, your child’s candidacy for cochlear implantation in their program.
You may wish to ask the following:
What devices does the program use, what is their experience with the reliability of each device, and how compatible new external technologies have been to older internal devices, since you can expect your child to use the device you choose for many years.
How many pediatric implants has the surgeon performed and how many children has the audiologist mapped?
How is progress assessed and are speech perception testing and speech language evaluations performed regularly?
How does your center communicate with your child’s educators and therapists so that all your child’s care providers can work effectively together?