Hearing impaired children can hear now through new technology

Children aged between 2 and 5 years belonging to impoverished backgrounds were born deaf. They had a rare congenital deformity in which the kids are born without the cochlea. The cochlea or the inner ear is an important organ of hearing. Lack of hearing at such a young age causes inability to develop speech making the affected kids deaf and dumb. A hospital in India undertook a complex operation that lasted for five hours to restore the children’s hearing.

microchip or auditory brain implant that works like a cochlea was used in this operation. The surgery consisted of a team of doctors headed by a neurosurgeon and ENT surgeon. The skull was cut open. Using state of art navigation technology, the surgeons were able to reach the area of the inner ear. The microchip was implanted and directly connected to the nerves of the brainstem. These nerves are stimulated when sound reaches the implant and the signals reach the auditory area in the brain for further processing. The presence of critical nerves in the brainstem made this surgery extremely complex. And external hearing device is placed three months after this surgery. The patient will need speech therapy and rehabilitation to learn how to listen and speak.

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