The rains falling on the earth; the waves of the ocean hitting the shores; a little baby playing gleefully in its mother’s arms! These are images that make us forget all our sorrows and worries of the world.
However, have we ever imagined seeing this pristine beauty without the sound that it makes? These very things seem so much incomplete without the accompanying sound of the rain, the sound of wind in a primeval wood, the sound of the outer ocean on a beach, the sound of the baby giggling at its mother.
Blindness separates us from things; Deafness separates us from people.
There are so many unfortunate among us who cannot hear these beautiful sounds and are separated from us due to this handicap, because of a severe damage to their cochlear nerves.
The cochlear nerve:
The cochlear nerve, also known as the auditory nerve, is the sensory nerve that transfers auditory information from the cochlea (auditory area of the inner ear) to the brain. It is one of the many pieces that make up the auditory system, which enables effective hearing.
The sound vibrations are converted into electrical signals by an organ called the cochlea. These electrical signals are carried by the cochlear nerve to the brain, enabling us to hear. Due to issues with the cochlea, the sound vibrations are not converted to electrical signals and this result in hearing loss.
Treatment of this hearing loss usually involves the use of hearing aids. However, hearing aids help only when the degree of hearing loss is mild or moderate. Hence the scope of hearing aids is limited. Cochlear implants however, are a permanent hearing solution catering to severe to profound hearing loss.
Unlike hearing aids, cochlear implants bypass the damaged parts of the cochlea and provide stimulation to the auditory nerve.
Cochlear is the leading global expert in implantable hearing solutions, dedicated to bringing the gift of sound to people all over the world, having pioneered this technology for over thirty five years, helping more than 450,000 people reconnect to their families and friends with the joy of sound.
Cochlear India organized a CochlearCelebration event at the Shanmukhananda Hall in Mumbai on Sunday, 14th May, 2017 where expert doctors and audiologists briefed on how hearing works, how hearing loss comes into being and what are the possible solutions for hearing loss and how Cochlear implants help patients with hearing impairment, to lead a normal life.
The event highlighted the glaring truth that hearing loss is often taken for granted in India despite the fact that every year thousands of Indian children are born deaf or are detected with a certain level of hearing loss.
Many children who have been recipients of the Cochlear implants spoke about their achievements in life post the implant being done and reiterated the need to spread awareness about hearing loss and urge others to get themselves and their kids tested.
How it works:
Cochlear implants are quite different from hearing aids that just amplify, i.e. make sounds louder. The implant sends the signals it receives from the sound processor to the auditory nerve, which then passes it on the brain where they are recognized as sounds.
These implants are capable of directly stimulating the cochlea hearing nerve, bypassing the damaged area of the hearing pathway thus providing an established, effective and long-term hearing solution for people with severe to profound hearing loss.
When it should be done:
A child starts hearing even before birth and hence it is imperative that the implants are done as early as possible for a child after the hearing loss is identified.
In order to ensure that a child’s ability to learn to talk and reflect their thoughts by understanding what people are saying which begin within six months to a year after birth, it is necessary that the child is able to hear the full range of speech sounds.
Medical research has proved that the sooner children with hearing loss receive cochlear implants, the better. Studies have confirmed that children who receive cochlear implants before eighteen months of age are able to hear, comprehend sound and music, and speak much better than their counterparts who receive it at a later age.
Clinical analysts and doctors have confirmed through scientific studies that it is absolutely safe to have the implants done even on infants who are at the tender age of 12 months.
Whether unilateral or bilateral:
Hearing with both ears is the only way to experience full hearing potential. Since our brain is naturally configured to process sound coming both the ears, hearing with both ears helps the brain to understand where the sound is coming from, hearing much better in noisy conditions and overall reduce the hearing effort on the brain.
Hence bilateral implants are being recognized across the world as the standard of care.
How it is helpful:
While as parents we always wish the best for our child, we want them to experience their day in the same way children with normal hearing do.
Being less fatigued since they can hear easily, the children develop better language skills by ensuring that the brain gets enough sound stimulation to make the most of the critical growth phase of the children when their speech and hearing skills are under development.
This will ensure that they have a greater potential to excel in their academics and extra-curricular activities.
KansoTM – the discreet solution:
Kanso in Japanese means simplicity or plain. Many of us may fear of ridicule of people to be seen wearing a sound processor of a cochlear implant. Just like wearing spectacles was once a stereotype because not too many people used them in the earlier years, in today’s age many people wearing sound processors are stereotyped making the wearer extremely conscious. Hence, Cochlear came up with a solution for this – KANSOTM
Kanso is an off-the-ear hearing solution that is so discreet it is barely noticeable. The device is so small and comfortable and designed to fit snugly against the head that one can forget having worn it thus giving the confidence to live life to the fullest.
Kanso is the latest example of Cochlear’s innovation and their commitment in providing the world’s most reliable implants. The commitment to providing hearing solutions to the world remains unchanged even thirty five years after successfully launching the world’s first multi-channel cochlear implant.
The language of kindness:
Kindness is a language that the deaf can hear. Let us show kindness by spreading the word about Cochlear implants and make the less fortunate hear now, and always.
Let’s help them join us to celebrate the joy of hearing.