Genetic hearing loss is a prevailing issue in the children of Pakistan. Many children are born with partial hearing loss and it makes it difficult for them to speak. Hearing loss directly affects a person’s speaking ability. If a child cannot hear properly he won’t be able to learn to speak. And when people leave this issue untreated this can lead to complete and permanent disability for life.
What is a cochlear implant?
The cochlear implant is a small electronic device that electronically enhances the listening ability of a person. This device is implanted in the ear of a person by surgery. Some parts of the device are placed inside the ear and skin and the external parts remain outside the ear. The surgery takes about two to four hours and the patient is given anesthesia before the surgery to make him or her unconscious during the process.
Difference between a cochlear implant and a hearing aid
Cochlear implants are different from hearing aids. With a hearing aid, a person can listen louder, it enhances sound but it does not help with speech understanding. If a person cannot understand the speech and has difficulty differentiating words, he needs a cochlear implant instead of a hearing aid. Cochlear implants help people to have better speech understanding. But people have to rely on hearing aids because not every hospital in Pakistan offers cochlear implant surgery, not even some of the best hospitals in Pakistan.
Why a cochlear implant surgery is needed
A cochlear implant is recommended by a specialist or audiologist. There are some symptoms of hearing loss, when they appear in someone a person is in need of a cochlear implant. These are some symptoms:
- Hearing loss is not getting better with hearing aids
- Poor clarity of hearing in both ears
- Miss the words while hearing even with the hearing aid
- Rely on lip-reading most of the time
The results of cochlear implants vary from person to person. Some people feel the improvement within weeks and some people take time for like months. Usually, people experience a difference between the first six months of the cochlear implant.
What kind of risks can occur while the surgery
Although this surgery has the least chance of having any kind of risks, still there is a slight possibility of some risks occurring. And this risk factor also varies from person to person. The possible risks can be bleeding, swelling around the ear, infection in the ear or the area around the implant, ringing sound in the ear, leakage of spinal fluid, dizziness, numbness, change in taste, and dryness of the mouth. There can be any other side effects depending upon your medical condition or health. That is why it is very important to tell your doctor everything about your condition and health before surgery.
Mukhtar A. Sheikh Hospital (MASH) Multan
Mukhtar A. Sheikh Hospital is one of the best hospitals in Pakistan for cochlear implant surgery. This is their flagship program to serve the people of Pakistan who are experiencing hearing loss. Especially the children who are born with hearing loss. Mukhtar A. Sheikh Hospital tries to save children from life-long disabilities. They help underprivileged children who cannot afford the surgery with the help of Bait ul Maal. They fund the surgeries for the children and help them restore their hearing and speaking abilities.
How they treat patients after surgery at MASH
After the surgery, the doctors suggest some follow-up sessions for patients, to see if everything is working fine. They also teach the patients to take care of their stitches and one visit to the hospital is for the removal of stitches. And during the follow-up sessions, patients should report if they are having any excessive pain or any other problem so the doctors can take the step accordingly.
Therapy sessions after surgery
Cochlear implant surgery always has speech therapy or hearing therapy from speech pathologists or audiologists. This helps patients to have a better understanding of sounds and the interpretation of words. This therapy helps to improve your hearing ability after a cochlear implant. MASH has a separate setup for the speech therapy sessions in the spring clinic which makes the cochlear implant more effective.
This cochlear implant program makes Mukhtar A. Sheikh Hospital the best hospital in Multan is among the best hospitals in Pakistan.