Mar 9, 2019
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