Dr. Uppal has the enviable distinction of being the first and only ENT Surgeon in the whole of Thane district who performs Cochlear Implant Surgery. He has received specialized training for this in Australia and Italy. Youngest child who has undergone cochlear implant is 14 months and oldest is 30 year old lady at Dr Uppals ENT Hospital
If you (or your child) has a severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss in both ears and don’t get much benefit from hearing aids, you might be a candidate for a cochlear implant. To determine whether you are a candidate, you’ll have to have a complete evaluation, including hearing tests and a CT or MRI scan of the ear.
Children as young as 12 months of age can receive a cochlear implant, usually after a 3- to 6-month trial with hearing aids in both ears and intensive auditory training. It’s important to ensure that hearing aids can’t provide the child the same amount of benefit as an implant.
At Dr Uppal ENT Hospital, we routinely perform cochlear implant surgery. It’s done using general anesthesia.
What is cochlear implant?
A cochlear implant is a small, complex electronic device that can help to provide a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard-of-hearing. The implant consists of an external portion that sits behind ear and a second portion that is surgically placed under the skin.
An implant has the follow:
- A microphone, which picks up sound from the environment.
- A speech processor, which selects and arranges sounds picked up by the microphone.
- A transmitter and receiver/stimulator, which receive signals from the speech processor and converts them into electronic impulses.
- An electrode array, which is a group of electrodes that collects the impulses from the stimulator and sends then to different regions of the auditory nerve.
An implant does not restore normal hearing. Instead, it can give a deaf person a useful representation of sound in the environment and help him or her to understand speech.
How does a cochlear implant work?
A cochlear implant is very different from a hearing aid. Hearing aids amplify sounds so they may damage ears. Cochlear implants bypass damaged portions of the ear and directly stimulate the auditory nerve. Signals generated by the implant are sent by way of the auditory nerve to the brain, which recognizes the signals as sound. Hearing through a cochlear implant is different from normal hearing and takes time to learn or relearn. However, done at different ages it allows people to recognize warning signals, understand other sounds in the environment, and enjoy a conversation in person or by telephone.
Parts of the cochlear implant
The implant is surgically placed under the skin behind the ear. The basic parts of the device include:
- A microphone.
- A speech processor, which selectively filters sound to priorities audible speech and sends the electrical sound signals through a thin cable to the transmitter.
- A transmitter, which is a magnetic pad placed behind the external ear, and transmits the processed sound signals to the internal device by electromagnetic induction.
- A receiver and stimulator secured in bone beneath the skin, which converts the signals into electronic impulses and sends them through an internal cable to electrodes
- An array up to 24 electrodes wound through the cochlea, which sends the impulses directly into the brain.
Who gets cochlear implants?
Children and adults who are deaf or severely hard-of-hearing can be fitted for cochlear implants.
Adults who have lost all or most of their hearing later in life often can benefit from cochlear implants. This may help then to understand speech without visual clues or systems such as lip reading or sign language.