Gaziantep Dr. Ersin Arslan Training and Research Hospital Deputy Chief Physician and ENT Specialist Assoc. Dr. Secaattin Gülşen drew attention to the relationship between middle ear infections and hearing loss in children.
Middle ear infections, known as the most common cause of hearing loss in children, can lead to permanent hearing loss if left untreated. Congenital sensorineural hearing loss can occur due to genetic and non-genetic reasons.
Providing information about hearing loss and their treatment, Gaziantep Dr. Ersin Arslan Training and Research Hospital Deputy Chief Physician and ENT Specialist Assoc. Dr. Secaattin Gülşen stated that approximately 30 percent of cases with genetic hearing loss are accompanied by some syndromes, while non-genetic hearing loss develops due to congenital or subsequent causes. Gülşen continued as follows: “Some infections such as herpes, syphilis, rubella, CMV, toxoplasma during pregnancy and postpartum diseases such as mumps, measles and meningitis can cause permanent hearing loss. Hypoxia, jaundice and premature birth, which are some problems experienced during birth, also pose a risk for hearing loss. Factors such as ototoxic drug use, trauma and noise are among the causes of subsequent hearing loss, ”he said.
Time should not be wasted to get good results in cochlear implantation.
In Turkey, hearing loss is observed in an average of 1000-1 per 3 births. It is noted that in the eastern and southeastern regions where consanguineous marriage and low socio-economic levels are common in our country, the rate of congenital hearing loss increases 2-3 times depending on these factors. Assoc. Dr. Secaattin Gülşen stated that when the problem of hearing loss is not solved, it can cause irreversible consequences, especially in children, but if congenital hearing loss is diagnosed early and properly rehabilitated, the child can continue his intellectual development. Gülşen added that even if cochlear implantation is performed after a certain age in children with congenital hearing loss who have not received any auditory stimuli, no benefit can be obtained because the language learning capacity of the brain is extremely weakened.
Permanent and effective hearing solutions should be reached in adults without wasting time.
Adult hearing losses occur in different age groups according to the type of hearing loss and the causes of hearing loss. For example, the sensorineural type, ie neural type hearing loss, is known as a type that occurs with the weakening of the auditory nerve in individuals over the age of 60-65, which is characterized by weakness in the perception of sounds at high frequencies, and is also affected at all sound frequencies. Gülşen stated that the most common treatment option for sensorineural hearing loss in our country is hearing aids, but in cases where these devices are not sufficient, cochlear implants, middle ear implants and bone implantable systems should be used. Conductive hearing loss is often seen due to diseases that can affect the middle ear and sometimes the inner ear, such as chronic otitis media, otosclerosis (stirrup bone calcification) and tympanosclerosis (common middle ear calcification). In mixed-type or sensorineural-type hearing loss, exposure to loud sounds, acoustic trauma due to loud sounds, infections, sudden hearing loss and head trauma are among the causes.
Expressing that cochlear implantation should be performed without wasting time in adult individuals who cannot benefit from hearing aids, Gülşen said, “During the absence of auditory stimulus, the auditory center in the brain becomes dull in terms of perception and interpretation capacity of the auditory stimulus, which we call deprivation. Therefore, rapid implantation will increase the success, ”he said.
Later and untreated hearing loss in adults can cause some mental illnesses such as Dementia. Since hearing loss causes the individual to isolate himself from the society and his social environment, mental illnesses such as depression can also be seen as a result of lack of self-esteem, withdrawal and prolonged social isolation.
Hearing implants are under government guarantee
The choice of hearing aid or cochlear implant is determined by the joint decision of the patient and the physician. Cochlear implant cost is covered by SSI for individuals who do not benefit from hearing aids and whose average pure sound is 70 dB or worse in one ear, 90 dB or worse in the opposite ear, and whose speech discrimination score is below 30 percent. In pediatric patients who are candidates for cochlear implants, after the age of one, the cost of the cochlear implant device is covered by the SSI. Stating that cochlear implant surgery can be performed in babies over 6-7 months from a medical point of view, Assoc. Dr. Şecaattin Gülşen pointed out that although the upper age limit varies from patient to patient, cochlear implant surgery must be performed before the age of 4 in children who do not benefit from hearing aids and do not have language development.