Cochlear implants are suitable for children and adults who cannot understand spoken language sufficiently through amplified residual hearing.
Digital hearing aids are not sufficient when the diagnosis of deafness is profound, and all the sensory cells are missing or so severely damaged that sound cannot be converted to electrical impulses which ultimately generate the sensations of hearing.
The primary function of a cochlear implant is to convert sound energy into low-level electrical currents that stimulate the auditory or hearing nerve, directly bypassing the damaged inner ear or cochlea.
There is no minimum age for referral for assessment for a cochlear implant. Hear and Say conducts cochlear implant candidacy testing to assess whether:
- a child has severe to profound hearing loss in either or both ears
- a child cannot hear all speech sounds, and whether hearing aids will be of benefit
- there are any barriers to surgery.
Bone Conduction Hearing Aids
A bone conduction hearing aid sends sounds directly to the inner ear, or cochlea, by vibrating the bones of the skull.
Sound bypasses any blockages in the middle or outer ear.
Bone conduction hearing aids are suitable for children with a conductive hearing loss, and who are unable to wear a cochlear implant or hearing aid.
Hear and Say are specialists in:
- the rare conditions Microtia and Atresia, where children are born without an ear canal or with very small ears.
- conditions which interfere with the use of a hearing aid.
A hearing aid amplifies sound. A microphone converts sound to an electrical signal and an amplifier increases the strength of this signal.
Hearing aids alter the balance of sound, usually giving more emphasis to high-frequency sounds and weak sounds (than to low-frequency or intense sounds).
A hearing aid also comprises of a loudspeaker, called a receiver, which turns the electrical signal back into sound. In this way, sound is sent via the ear canal to the hearing system in the brain.
At 9.10pm on 24 October 2013 our beautiful daughter Maia was born.
The moment of elation was short-lived as we immediately noticed her left ear was missing. I frantically looked to the medical team around me for answers but received none.
Panic set in as we waited 4 days in hospital for an ENT to explain her condition, by which point we already had all the answers from Simone, who runs the Microtia and Atresia Program at Hear and Say.