Question - Answer
In what cases is it recommended that a child should have a cochlear implantation?
Cochlear implantation is done for children with bilateral deafness or 4 degree of hearing loss. In recent years, the indications for cochlear implantation have been expanding, and it can be recommended to a child with residual hearing.
At the same time, modern correctly selected and tuned hearing aids do not help the child, because most of the hair cells in the cochlea are damaged. The decision on expediency of carrying out of operation to the child is accepted by the special commission in the center of cochlear implantation according to complex survey.
What is the difference between a cochlear implant and a hearing aid?
The hearing aid simply amplifies the sounds and transfers them to the eardrum. The cochlear implant converts sounds into a sequence of electrical impulses that stimulate the auditory nerve with the help of electrodes in the cochlea.
How is the cochlear implant?
The system of cochlear implantation consists of two parts:
1. Internal (implantable) part - cochlear implant - inserted into the ear during surgery, cochlear implantation (after surgery, the implant is under the scalp and is not visible);
2. External part - the speech processor, microphone, radio transmitter - is put on the ear and removed during sleep or bathing, like a normal hearing aid.
It is a complex electronic medical device that perceives electromagnetic signals from a speech processor, converts them into electrical, and by stimulation of the auditory nerve in the cochlea of the inner ear allows the structures of the brain to recognize sounds.Cochlear implant is essentially a kind of auditory prosthesis. However, it does not just amplify the sound like a hearing aid, but replaces the hair cells of the inner ear and transmits sound and speech information with weak electric discharges directly to the auditory nerve.
A cochlear implant makes it possible to perceive high-frequency sounds that people with severe hearing loss do not hear even with the help of powerful hearing aids.
A complex electronic medical device that converts sound waves of a mechanical nature into electrical impulses. This device is miniature and usually worn behind the ear.
The source of the cochlear implant is rechargeable batteries or disposable batteries. Many models can use both disposable batteries and batteries, which are located in the remote unit. The power of disposable batteries is usually enough for several days of work, which requires certain financial costs.
Models of cochlear implants of different manufacturers differ in size, number of electrodes, strategies for processing speech signals and a number of other technical indicators.
There are models of CI, in which all components of the external part are located in the same housing.
The outer part is removed during sleep or bathing, like a normal hearing aid. There are models of CI, the outer part of which can not be removed during bathing.
How does the cochlear implant work?
2. The signal enters the speech processor, where it is "encoded" (converted into a specific set of electrical pulses).
3. These pulses are sent to the transmitter and then transmitted to the implant.
4. Implant sends a set of electrical impulses to the electrodes that are installed in the cochlea.
5. The auditory nerve perceives electrical impulses and transfers them to the brain.
6. The brain recognizes these signals in the form of sounds.
How is cochlear implantation performed?
The operation is performed under general anesthesia and lasts from 40 minutes to 1.5 hours. This is an operation on the ear, and not on the brain, so it is performed by the ENT surgeon at the ENT clinic. Most patients, including children, after the termination of anesthesia on the same day can get up, communicate. The next day after the operation the child can move independently without any restrictions. After 7-10 days, the child is removed a bandage on his head, discharged from the hospital and he can return to normal life, including attending a kindergarten or school.