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Q. Other than cochlear implant, is there any other way to treat hearing loss in a kid?

Answered by
Dr. Pradeep. V. R
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Feb 19, 2016 and last reviewed on: Oct 09, 2018

Hi doctor,

My niece is 4 years old now. A year back we realized that she was not catching up how to speak and consulted an ENT doctor. Doctor performed few tests like BERA, OAE and hearing assessment. Then he confirmed that my niece is suffering from profound hearing loss. Doctor suggested hearing aids could help her in listening temporarily but advised cochlear implant as permanent solution. Though my niece grabbed very few words to speak with the help of hearing aids, she could not completely mingle with us. We still neither could digest the news nor can imagine that she wearing external devices for her entire life. Also that none of us or our ancestors had such problem.

We consulted few more doctors for further confirmation and I browsed over the internet but everyone says cochlear implant is the only solution. We would like to take a final opinion from the doctors around the world before she goes under the surgery and hence drafting this. Can we have a hope that the problem could be different and doctor identifies the actual problem (if any) while operating the ear for cochlear implant? I figured out from few blogs that research is going on few devices which do not require wearing external device. Can you please let me know if they are available outside? If not, how many yet more years to pass to get those devices into the world and save many children with this problem? I have attached the BERA, OAE and hearing assessment reports for your reference. Please have a look at them and advice. Thank you very much for your valuable time and your help is definitely admirable and cannot be unnoticed.

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Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

Reports (attachment removed to protect patient identity) clearly explains about the problems. I clearly understand your concern and worries.

  • You are worried about the cosmetic appearance but you are missing about the importance of normal speech and hearing in life.
  • Already you are late in rehabilitation. Do not worry about the external devices at this moment. You should be worried only how to make her speak and hear normal like us.
  • Even after doing surgery one year speech therapy is very important in success of cochlear implant.
  • Do not worry about external device; try to get surgery as early as possible and start speech therapy.
  • Even if you do surgery now, both your niece and speech therapist have to put their hard work to make her to speak normal.
  • Still you have to do CT and MRI scans for cochlear study. Only if scan is normal she can undergo cochlear implant.
  • My advice is you have already wasted precious time and do not waste any more.

Investigations to be done:

CT and MRI scan for cochlear implant.

Treatment plan:

1. Speech therapy after cochlear implant, minimum three days in a week, only by speech language pathologist.
2. Regular mapping by an audiologist.

Regarding follow up:

For further information consult an audiologist online.---> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/audiologist


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