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Howard G. Smith, M.D. is a former radio medical editor and talk show host in the Boston Metro area.  His "Medical Minute" of health and wellness news and commentary was a regular weekday feature on WBZ-AM, WRKO-AM, and WMRE-AM.   His popular two-way talk show, Dr. Howard Smith OnCall, was regularly heard Sunday morning and middays on WBZ.

More recently, Dr. Smith has adopted the 21st century technology of audio and video podcasting as conduits for the short health and wellness reports, HEALTH NEWS YOU SHOULD USE.  Many of these have video versions, and they may be found on his YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKPOSWu-b4GjEK_iOCsp4MA

Trained at Harvard Medical School and a long-time faculty member at Boston Children’s Hospital, he practiced Pediatric Otolaryngology for 40 years in Boston, Southern California, and in central Connecticut.

If you have questions or suggestions about this content, please email the doctor at drhowardsmith.reports@gmail.com or leave him a message at 516-778-8864.  His website is: www.drhowardsmith.com.

Please note that the news, views, commentary, and opinions that Dr. Smith provides are for informational purposes only.  Any changes that you or members of your family contemplate making to lifestyle, diet, medications, or medical therapy should always be discussed beforehand with personal physicians who have been supervising your care.

Mar 9, 2019

Vidcast: https://youtu.be/lbn-vkUlfL8

The earlier a deaf child regains sensitivity to sounds, the greater are the chances for that child to master spoken language.  Ear surgeons and audiologists at Chicago’s Lurie Children’s Hospital report their experience with 219 severely hearing-challenged children undergoing implantation of so-called bionic ears before 3 years of age.

Of the group, some 39 infants received their cochlear implants before the age of 12 months.  These early implanted babies as a group tolerated the surgery well and showed spectacular progress with their language acquisition.  

They developed the ability to understand spoken words one year earlier than children implanted after 18 to 24 months of age.  In contrast, children implanted after 2 years of age were less likely to completely master verbal language and required gestural or sign language.

Every state now has universal hearing screening to promptly identify the 1 plus kids in 1000 with significant hearing loss.  The earlier a child’s hearing can be brought to a useful level with medical therapy, hearing aids, or surgery that may include a cochlear implant, the greater is the opportunity for that child to develop useful communication skills.

Currently, cochlear implants are only approved for children 12 months or older.  Studies such as this one will allow us to push the envelope and improve the chances that every child born with a hearing loss will develop skills on a par with their normal hearing classmates.

#deafness #cochlearimplant #hearing #verballanguage, signlanguage # hearingaids #healthnews

Hoff, Stephen Ryan, Maura, Thomas, Denise, Tournis, Elizabeth, Kenny, Hannah, Hajduk, John, Young, Nancy M. Safety and Effectiveness of Cochlear Implantation of Young Children, Including Those With Complicating Conditions. Otology and Neurotology, 2019 DOI: 10.1097/MAO.0000000000002156