A cochlear implant (CI) is a surgically implanted electronic device that can provide a sense of sound to someone who is profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing.
In 2009, approximately 188,000 people worldwide received cochlear implants. A growing number of recipients now have bilateral implants (one implant in each cochlea). As a general rule, only those people with profound sensorineural hearing loss are considered as candidates for cochlear implantation. It’s important to realize that the cochlear implant is a permanent procedure. Once the implant is put into place, sound no longer travels via the ear canal and middle ear, but is transmitted by a microphone and sent through the device’s speech processor to the implant’s electrodes inside the cochlea.
Otitis media is an infection or inflammation of the middle ear. This inflammation often begins when other infections causing sore throats, colds, or other respiratory or breathing problems spread to the middle ear. These infections can be viral or bacterial in nature. It is estimated that seventy-five percent of children experience an episode of otitis media by their third birthday. Almost half of these children will have three or more ear infections during their first 3 years. The medical costs and lost wages caused by otitis media amount to an estimated $5 billion a year in the United States.
Pure Tone Audiometry
Pure tone audiometry (PTA) is the key hearing test used to identify hearing threshold levels of an individual. This enables the audiologist to determine of the degree, type and configuration of an individual’s hearing loss, and thus the basis for diagnosis and management. PTA is a subjective, behavioural measurement of hearing threshold, as it relies on patient response to pure tone stimuli. Therefore, PTA is used on adults and children old enough to cooperate with the test procedure. As with most clinical tests, calibration of the test environment, the equipment and the stimuli to ISO standards is needed before testing proceeds.
Cochlear – BAHA Implants
Since 1992, the cochlear implant team at Ear Specialists along with Dr. Thedinger have been helping children and adults with severe to profound hearing loss. Over 300 adults and children have received a cochlear implant at our center. Our center provides the latest implant technologies and makes the evaluation process concise and easy. We tailor each patient’s needs to any of the three implants available. Our center offers implants from either Cochlear, Med-El, or Advanced Bionics Corporations.