I remember distinctly that when I was expecting, my only prayer to the Almighty was to let my child be normal, as I am sure all parents hope and wish for fervently. When you are handed that tiny bundle, you marvel at how perfect they are. I remember my elder son having a hearing test within the first few days of his life. It is mandatory in the US. My younger son also had it in India but only because it was a private hospital. Most hospitals in India do not do the hearing test though the government has made it mandatory. This could be due to a lack of awareness, facilities or trained professionals. And often this leads to unnecessary delays in diagnosis of deafness. As a parent, I can understand how traumatic it is for a parent to discover that their child is hearing impaired. After the initial denial and hope of things getting better with time, they turn to possible treatments and therapy. The delay may make the period of therapy and speech longer.

Deafness cannot be cured. But you can enable your child to lead a completely normal life, hearing just like other normal children and even swimming and playing. I have a friend who has a hearing impaired child and I’ve seen how hard she has worked with his therapy and other requirements and the improvement he has shown. He is an avid footballer, exercises regularly, is a sunny young man who is in college now.

Most important things to know about Deafness:

  • The sooner you diagnose the problem and begin treating it, the faster your child will be with having near normal speech recognition and speech.
  • Cochlear implants can provide the sensation of sound to children and adults with severe-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss through electrical stimulation of the hearing nerve.
  • Regular therapy sessions are required to ensure that the child ‘understands’ the sounds and ‘learns’ how to form associations and speaks normally. Chidren may speak more than one language with the appropriate therapy.
  • Bilateral cochlear implants are preferable if the hearing loss is in both ears. Bilateral implants help to provide more clear sound in noisy environments.

hearing loss cochlear implants

Few days back, I went to attend an event conducted by Manasa Cochlear Implant and ENT Centre in Bangalore. Along with Cochlear, they have been tirelessly working for the cause of making lives of children and adults with deafness better.

hearing loss cochlear implants

The gathering had a mix of parents who had come with their children to gather more information and a panel of specialists who gave practical information and generously shared their own experience.

I got to see the inspiring stories of children who are leading absolutely normal lives after getting cochlear implants. It is so satisfying to see them thrive and grow.

hearing loss cochlear implants

This child, Shobith, is a toddler and was in fine form, playing, running around and interacting with everyone after his implant. The relief and joy writ on the faces of his parents was there for all to see.

Here is the wonderful story of Samanyu and Maithili both of whom have Cochlear™ implants:

And this is the story of Kushagra, all of 13, having a zest for life and doing so well in life after his implant

Don’t forget to share this information with other parents especially those who are unaware. Do read here for more information.

Hear what Brett Lee has to say about hearing loss and Cochlear implants

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12 Thoughts on “Hearing Loss – How Cochlear Implants can be Life Changing

  1. Lata Sunil on July 20, 2016 at 10:29 am said:

    i was not aware cochlear tests are mandatory. thanks for the details,

    • Yes, the doctors told us that they are but most hospitals especially in smaller cities just don’t have the facilities or trained personnel to administer them. I hope more parents know about these tests and ask to get them done. This test is quite inexpensive.

  2. I remember how worried I was when these tests were being done for M. It’s a strange kind of fear. One that began during the anomaly scan…I guess that’s what happens to parents. I think in India a lot is not known or not available when it comes to health issues. Like you said, most hospitals don’t even have these tests as mandatory. Something like deafness, for example, though it can’t be cured and though it is heartbreaking to see your child going through it, we can always do something to help them lead a normal life. It’s so important to spread such messages.
    Nabanita Dhar recently posted…#MommyTalks – What If My Daughter Has Gap Teeth Like Mine?My Profile

    • Thanks, Naba. Yes, I remember feeling so frightened too. At least, it is heartening to know that all is not lost if your child is deaf. Of course, these implants are expensive but they do offer a new life to the children.

  3. As a parent I can well imagine how hard it would be to watch your child struggle with an impairment, It is wonderful that at least this one can be taken care of. Thanks for sharing.
    Obsessivemom recently posted…Have you played Uno cards?My Profile

    • Thanks, Tulika. Not only is there such a lack of awareness but these implants are expensive as well. Many middle class parents may find it difficult to afford them but these folks were saying that they help the parents get government assistance. My heart broke when I saw so many parents, some of them so despondent yet hopeful. I hope they all find succour.

  4. Ohhhhh .. you know the last 3 months have been awful , I cant hear anything from my right ear.. completely deaf.. treatment is going on.. and I know how hard its been I have sometimes Kicked a wall or boxed a wall in frustration .. but fingers crossed things are improving the infection is finally going down.. I can understand the frustration of those who cant hear at all ..

    These tests need to be SO MANDATORY..

    • Arre my God! How did that happen? Did you get some ear infection? I will pray that you feel better soon. What are the doctors saying? I totally agree that there is a real lack of awareness about these tests and treatment options in India. Hope more parents know about these. But these implants are quite expensive and many parents find it hard to afford them as they are not covered by insurance.

  5. A very informative post. There is much lack of awareness when it comes to health issues. Thanks for sharing.

  6. These are mandatory? Didn’t know about that. It must be truly traumatic for the parents to know about it the hard way without the testing. This has to be known by everyone.
    Dashy recently posted…The Second Childhood – 7 of #Seven AgesMy Profile

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