Can Congenital Hearing Loss Be Treated?

can congenital hearing loss be treated
can congenital hearing loss be treated

Konya Selcuk University Faculty of Medicine, ENT Diseases and Head and Neck Surgery Department Lecturer Prof. Dr. Bahar Çolpan stated that in children with congenital hearing loss, hearing impairment can be completely eliminated with hearing implants and that children can go to school with their peers and lead a successful academic life.

Prof. Dr. Bahar Çolpan stated that congenital problems can be detected with newborn hearing screening successfully carried out in our country, patients are immediately recommended hearing aids and are directed to rehabilitation. Stating that preparations for cochlear implant operation have begun in patients who do not benefit from the device, Çolpan noted that bilateral cochlear implant operation was applied to eligible candidates at the age of 1.

While most of the problems in patients with congenital hearing loss are sensorineural hearing loss, middle ear problems (serous otitis media, acute or chronic otitis media) cause a large part of childhood hearing loss. Stating that operations such as medical treatment, tube application and tympanoplasty are performed primarily for hearing loss due to middle ear problems in childhood, Çolpan also stated that sensorineural hearing loss due to measles, mumps or other infections may develop in childhood, hearing aids depending on the severity of the loss. or cochlear implant operation.

2-4 years are important in language and speech development

Children need to hear in a healthy way to be able to speak and communicate. Drawing attention to the importance of the age of 2-4 in the development of language and speech, Çolpan said that with hearing, connections (neuroplasty) are formed between neurons in the hearing-speech centers in the brain, that if hearing loss is not detected and rehabilitated at this age, neuroplasticity cannot be achieved and children develop speech problems. Çolpan continued as follows: “Children with hearing and speech problems have difficulty in communicating with their family and peers. The education and training life of these children will be negatively affected. But with early diagnosis and treatment, it is possible for our children to hear and speak and they will be able to successfully continue their educational life with their normal peers. "

Age is the most important factor in adults

Stating that hearing loss in adults mostly develops depending on age, Çolpan drew attention to the fact that the incidence increases especially after the age of 60. Çolpan continued as follows: “In addition to age, we encounter hearing loss problems at earlier ages due to some ear diseases such as otosclerosis, chronic otitis media, acoustic trauma, sudden hearing loss. The treatment method changes according to the cause, type and severity of our patient's hearing loss. Therefore, according to the disease of each patient, medical, surgical, hearing aid or implants are applied. "

Hearing loss causes depression

Hearing loss is a problem that negatively affects people's work and social life and causes individuals to isolate themselves due to problems in hearing and understanding. Prof. Dr. Bahar Çolpan stated that this situation causes depression and anxiety in patients and even causes diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer's to appear at an earlier age. Çolpan added: “Patients with hearing loss should be informed about these issues and the importance of treatment should be enlightened. One of our biggest problems is to convince our patients with hearing loss to use hearing aids. However, if the importance of the event is well explained and assistance is provided in choosing the appropriate device, it may be easier for patients to accept the device. Unfortunately, untreated and unresolved hearing losses in adulthood cause our patients to gradually lose their ability to understand speech. Patients who do not use a hearing aid since the beginning of their hearing loss, their speech comprehension level decreases as time progresses. When these individuals buy hearing aids later, they do not benefit from the hearing aid sufficiently and therefore refuse to use it. "

Implant surgeries are within the scope of reimbursement

Çolpan stated that they recommend cochlear implant operation to adult patients with severe or severe hearing loss, who do not benefit from the hearing aid sufficiently and who do not have a health problem that may interfere with the operation, and stated that the patients are evaluated radiologically and audiologically and the patients who are suitable are operated.

Patients who want to have implant surgery should apply to ENT physicians in centers where cochlear implant application is performed. After the ENT examination, the radiological examinations of the patients who have had audiological tests are evaluated and then their language and speech levels are determined. After the council evaluates whether the patient is suitable for implant, the patient is informed. Providing information about the reimbursement process, Çolpan said: “If our children under 4 years of age who have bilateral severe hearing loss and do not benefit from the device do not have any audiological and radiological disabilities and their condition meets the HUT criteria, the bilateral cochlear implant is covered by our state. Our state pays the single ear cochlear implant if the audiological and radiological evaluations and language speech levels of our patients over 4 years of age with bilateral severe hearing loss and who do not benefit from the device are appropriate.

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