A cochlear implant is not the best solution for everyone. So what needs to be considered before you go any further?
Does any of this sound like it might apply to your child?
- the child should have a “severe / profound” or “profound bilateral sensori-neural” hearing loss
- the child’s averaged unaided responses should be approximately 85 dB HL average at 2kHz & 4kHz for slopping profiles. With more uniform and level hearing losses Children will be assessed who have better hearing with concideration to their ability. The child should idealy already have high-powered hearing aids – unless their hearing loss has been caused by meningitis
- consistent hearing aid use is being actively sought locally
- Children who have moderate to severe hearing loss should be closely monitored and if any signs of progression and deterioration should consider referral.
- If in any doubt the team will be more than happy to discuss individual requirements.
Other issues to consider are:
- Patients whose severe or profound hearing loss is a consequence of meningitis should be‘fast tracked’ regardless of hearing aid use. This is to reduce the risk of cochlear ossification. These patients will be prioritised throughout their assessment process.
- Where auditory brainstem response testing is used as the basis for referral or to provide additional information, this should be performed in line with national recommended procedures.
- In the case of pre-lingually deafened children who have not benefitted from wearing a hearing aid, preference would be given to those under five years of age.
- Pre-lingually deafened older children and teenagers who are consitent hearing aid users with an oral approach and otherwise satisfy audiological criteria, will be considered on an individual basis.
- Children and teenagers with a progressive or post-lingually acquired hearing loss will also be considered on an individual basis provided they too satisfy the audiological criteria.
- A child with additional needs will be assessed as to wether may gain functional benefit from a cochlear implant. Each child will be considred on an individual basis.
- Each child should be medically fit for surgery