Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Cochlear Implant Q & A

How is Seth's hearing now? 

In November, Seth had an Auditory Brainstem Response test, also known as an ABR.  His results showed no response at 105 decibles, which was the limit on the testing equipment.  It is likely that his hearing loss is more profound than 105 decibels.  We were told if he was standing beside a jet plane, he would not hear it.  You can see in the audiogram below, a jet it plotted at about 120 decibels.

His hearing loss is bilateral, meaning both ears.  He is wearing bilateral, in the ear, hearing aids.  His testing, with hearing aids, shows reaction to sound at 80-90 decibels.  This is still considered prodound deafness.

At what point do you make the decision to go with an implant rather than hearing aids.
Since, Seth's degree of deafness is considered profound, even with high powered hearing aids, cochlear implants become an option to help him hear.

How invasive will the procedure be, what about recovery?
This answer is taken from our surgeons website.
The procedure is an outpatient surgery that takes about an hour and a half. It is performed under general anesthesia. The surgery is performed through an incision behind the ear. The surgery consists of removing part of the mastoid bone and placing the cochlear implant.

Will the implant last his entire life, can it be upgraded without replacement?
Likely, the implant will need to be replaced at some point.  No one knows for sure.  CI in children were started in the late 80's.  Some of those children are now having replacement CIs.  Yes, they are designed to allow upgrades.  They are also designed for easy removal of the magnet if there is a need for the child to have an MRI.

How will it affect any hearing that he has now, like when you wear glasses your natural eyesight gets a little worse as you depend on the lenses.
Typically, any hearing the child has will be lost from the implant.  Seth will only have one ear implanted to start.

For a brief explination, this video talks a bit about the procedure and highlights Seth's surgeon.

Thanks for answering any of these questions, I'm really interested in learning more.
You are welcome and thanks for asking!

1 comment:

  1. I was curious to know this info as well but didn't make it back to write you yesterday. Another question is... How well will he be able to hear with the implant? I'm excited and hopeful for Seth!


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