Cochlear implants are electronic medical devices that replace the function of the damaged inner ear. Unlike hearing aids, which make sounds louder, cochlear implants mimic the work of damaged parts of the inner ear (cochlea) to provide sound signals to the brain. Cochlear implants bypass damaged hair cells in the inner ear and directly stimulate auditory nerve endings with the electrical impulses using an array of implanted electrodes. It is designed for people whose hearing does not improve with surgical correction or with the use of a hearing aid.
The Cochlear Implant Unit focuses to improve the quality of life of children with bilateral profound sensorineural hearing loss by facilitating hearing and communication. We work with children who are considering cochlear implants (either under the Government funded scheme “Sruthitharangam” or self-assisted) and those who have undergone implantation. The unit functions as a team which includes audiologists, speech-language pathologists, psychologists, auditory-verbal therapists, and ENT surgeon. Patients who are considering cochlear implantation undergo pre-implant counselling and a complete evaluation of the child’s auditory, speech and language skills to ensure that they meet the candidacy criteria. The other evaluations include medical and audiological testing and psychological and cognitive evaluations as and when required. Children who underwent cochlear implantation are seen in the mapping unit for follow up post-implant counselling and mapping sessions. Children who undergo Auditory Verbal Therapy are assessed for auditory, speech and language skills on a 3 months period and appropriate remedial strategies are recommended.
NISH serves as the nodal agency for the Sruthitharangam Cochlear Implant Project funded by the Government of Kerala. NISH is involved in an audiological review of the selected candidates under the scheme, conducting training programs to improve the expertise of audiologists and auditory verbal therapists involved in the project.
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