Teach The Nerves When They Are Tender

Posted On Jan 10, 2023

3 Min Read

Dr. Dathathri H.A

Consultant - ENT Head & Neck surgery

Manipal Hospital - Mysore

Infant Hearing Loss Treatment in Mysore

One of the most common causes of failure to speak is inborn hearing loss. It is common sense that an individual who has not heard anything can't respond or recognize the same words. Hence correcting hearing loss can bring speech capability back to a person.

The brain has a wonderful capacity to learn. At the same time, it can vanish too. If we fail to recognize the inborn hearing loss early, the brain will lose its ability to recognize sounds.

Diagnosis of Infant Hearing Loss

A newborn hearing screening program is actively implemented globally to reduce deafness and muteness. Babies with a high risk for hearing loss are preferentially screened and monitored for early intervention. Also, babies born to mothers with high-risk pregnancies, such as diabetes and hypertension during pregnancy, or any kind of infection (TORCH Screen) in the first 3 months of pregnancy, are at high risk for deafness. At the same time, premature babies with low birth weight, babies with severe jaundice after birth, or any kind of serious infection during the first 30 days of life may suffer hearing loss. Since babies start responding to loud sounds at 3 months, a mother's careful observation can aid in detecting hearing loss early before using the facilities available for a newborn hearing screening.

All newborns are subjected to Oto-Acoustic emission testing to determine the potential maturity of inner ear functions. It is a simple, fast, and efficient test to filter out babies with hearing loss. It is a non-invasive test done in a soundproof room by giving a specific sound to the ear canal and recording signals (Echoes) from the inner ear. The presence of this signal rules out hearing loss. But the absence of a signal may not always signify complete hearing loss. In the absence of such a signal, we repeat the test at a later date or perform another test called BERA (Brain-Stem Evoked Response Audiometry). This is a more detailed evaluation of the inner ear and auditory nerves, as well as the nerve pathway running toward the brain. It is also a non-invasive test that involves giving a click-like sound to the ears and recording the waveforms generated from the corresponding area in the auditory pathway. It will take approximately 45 minutes to complete the test. To get the best results, visit a top ENT Hospital in Mysore.

Treatment For Infant Hearing Loss

  • Hearing aid fittings can begin as early as 4 to 6 months after a diagnosis of hearing loss. The approximate amplification to be given is detected by BERA and real-ear measurements. Real-ear measurement during hearing aid use Fitting has become a boon, which minimizes the errors of over- or under-amplification of the sound provided by the hearing aid.

  • Any child who is found to have severe hearing loss, diagnosed as not responding to loud sounds exceeding 90 dB and not getting good responses to powerful hearing aids for at least 3 months, is considered a candidate for a surgically implantable hearing device called a Cochlear Implant. Here we will be inserting an electrode into the cochlea (the hearing part of the inner ear) to stimulate the nerves directly, which can give stimulus without a need for amplification as compared to a hearing aid.

  • For a child to begin recognizing sounds and develop an ability to speak, cochlear implantation must be followed by intensive speech therapy (Auditory Verbal Therapy) for at least six months. The child needs to get constant stimulation with words, combined with visual cues for speech development.

  • A patient brought in at the age of 18 with inborn hearing loss and non-development of speech cannot be properly rehabilitated since the visual center occupies part of the brain that is needed for sound interpretation. Therefore, the patient can learn to lip-read and understand. 

  • We are fortunate to have cochlear implants, which can give you back the lost sense of hearing one is born with. You can’t expect the same with the other sensory nerves of vision and smell. Hence, teaching the nerves when they are tender is imperative to increase the chances of speech development. 

Consult the top ENT Specialist in Mysore who has both expertise and experience in handling complicated cases and offers the best treatment.

Department of Ear Nose and Throat

Manipal Hospitals, Mysore