If you want to manage your child’s hearing issues, there are a few options available. One of the most common solutions is a cochlear implant. These devices are an increasingly popular option for dealing with hearing loss. Read on to find out more about cochlear implants.
What is a Cochlear Implant?
This is a device that resembles a behind-the-ear hearing device. It has several components. The cochlear implant is made up of an external piece that serves as a speech processor. This unit is usually worn behind the ear. The device also has a processor that has a microphone for picking up sounds. When sound is perceived, it is coded into electrical signals by an inbuilt computer. The electrical signals are then sent to a transmitting coil that is attached to the head of the child by a magnet.
Do Cochlear Implants Provide Normal Hearing?
About two to three out of every 1,000 children in the U.S. are born with hearing loss in one or both ears. Cochlear implants can be quite helpful for those in this situation. A cochlear implant will not function as a normal ear does. However, it will provide access to a lot of sounds, including speech. You must also note that it is not meant to solve hearing loss or bring back normal hearing. Cochlear implants are used together with aural habilitation for the child to learn to understand spoken language.
Who Can Benefit From a Cochlear Implant?
These devices can be used by both adults and children. However, they are more effective in adults and kids who became deaf after learning to speak. In children that became deaf before learning the language, these devices can provide a way for them to learn how to talk.
At What Age Must a Child Get a Cochlear Implant?
You can get your child a cochlear implant as early as 10-12 months of age. However, if you want your child to receive the implant this early, tests must start as early as 3-4 months of age. Children who are congenitally deaf must get their cochlear implant surgery before they turn three. If it’s possible, the procedure can also be done earlier. When your child gets an implant early, they will have a better chance to learn sounds as they are developing their language skills.
Cochlear implants are quite helpful if your child learned to talk before they became deaf. Also, if your child recently became deaf and you are considering a cochlear implant, you must get them the implant as soon as possible.
Call Ear Specialists of Omaha & Bellevue at (402) 933-3277 for more information or to schedule an appointment.