Boys and girls with unilateral or asymmetric hearing loss They can adapt perfectly to a cochlear implant and consequently improve their personal, social and academic development. Although until recently children with this type of hearing loss were not considered candidates for a hearing implant, the results obtained indicate that it may be an option. recommended option.
Although it has been proven that a cochlear implant can improve the development of a child with unilateral or asymmetric hearing loss, There is no single protocol for all situations., so in the end the specialists treat each case individually to find the best possible treatment. In any case, recent experiences indicate that some children with unilateral or asymmetric hearing loss presented different effects related to the impact on speech recognition, difficulty identifying the source of sound and location, academic and behavioral problems, increased fatigue either language difficulty.
These problems contrast with the fact that, according to various studies, profoundly deaf children with bilateral cochlear implants have better access to language in noisy environments. Furthermore, there are more and more cases in which the implant is indicated in unilateral hearing loss. In this sense, the doctor Funny Aránguez, ENT coordinator of the Detection, Diagnosis and Treatment Program for childhood hearing loss in it Gregorio Marañón General University Hospitalemphasizes that intervention is usually performed before the first two years of life “because it is the time of greatest neural plasticity.”
When is unilateral cochlear implant indicated?
He Unilateral cochlear implant is indicated in all those pathologies in which hearing can be lost in the working ear. The reason is preventive: the ear that does function may stop working due to infections or anatomical injuries. The result of these interventions is being very positive, according to Dr. Aránguez, “Well, the children, despite having good hearing on the other side, have adapted perfectly to the implant”.
The Spanish Confederation of Deaf People (FIAPAS)in collaboration with the Commission for the Early Detection of Childhood Deafness (CODEPEH)have promoted a project aimed at guiding professionals involved in the early diagnosis and treatment of unilateral or asymmetric hearing loss. Fiapas considers that from an educational and social point of view, the consequences of unilateral or asymmetric hearing loss can be minimized with early and adequate diagnosis and treatment.