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Cochlear implantation for an Infant

A baby with cochlear implant

cochlear implant (CI) is a surgically implanted neuroprosthetic device that provides a sense of sound to a person with moderate to profound sensorineural hearing loss. Cochlear implants bypass the normal acoustic hearing process, instead of replacing it with electric hearing. Namely, the sound sensation comes from the sound that is converted to electric signals which directly stimulate the auditory nerve. The brain adapts to the new mode of hearing and eventually can interpret the electric signals as sound and speech.

The implant has two main components. The outside component is generally worn behind the ear, but could also be attached to clothing, for example, in young children. This component, the sound processor, contains microphones, electronics that include DSP chips, battery, and a coil which transmits a signal to the implant across the skin. The inside component, the actual implant, has a coil to receive signals, electronics, and an array of electrodes which is placed into the cochlea, which stimulate the cochlear nerve.

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The surgical expertise and pediatric cochlear implant surgeons overcame the challenges of implanting it at a very young age and helped in welcoming the child once again into the world of hearing

An infant who was operated at Rainbow Children’s Hospital, Banjara Hills last month has become the youngest child in the country to receive bilateral simultaneous cochlear implantation with Advanced Bionics.

According to the hospital, the infant with post meningitic permanent hearing loss was referred to Cochlear Implant Clinics in which the child was evaluated and the parents were counseled for cochlear implantation. The surgical expertise and pediatric cochlear implant surgeons overcame the challenges of implanting it at a very young age and helped in welcoming the child once again into the world of hearing.

Doctors said that bilateral permanent childhood hearing loss has major negative impacts on overall development, limiting the child’s ability to develop effective auditory, speech and language acquisition. If hearing loss is not treated early, the child may not develop speech and language. Early rehabilitation of hearing loss results in higher levels of linguistic, academic and social skills, they said.

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