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Delay in Cochlear Implantation Could Have Significant Impact on Childrens Speech and Language Skills

Washington, DC Newswise Children with severe to profound hearing loss under evaluation for cochlear implantation have traditionally been given a three to six month hearing aid trial to verify that they dont receive sufficient audiometric and speech benefit from hearing aids before proceeding with cochlear implantation.

But a new study presented at the 2007 AAO-HNSF Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO has shown in the sample pediatric population that children with severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss that had a hearing aid trial derived minimal benefit from itl. Researchers followed 85 patients (nine months to 14 years), 58 of whom were implanted with a hearing aid. Only six patients undergoing the trial were able to hear conversational speech sounds with the hearing aids and none of the children developed normal speech and language. After cochlear implantation, there were dramatic improvements in speech and language abilities in all children.

Study results suggest that in children born with deafness, there does not appear to be a reason to delay cochlear implantation for the sole purpose of completing a trial of hearing aids, as is currently recommended by the FDA. Risks in delaying cochlear implantation include speech and language deficits.

About the AAO-HNS

The American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery (www.entnet.org), one of the oldest medical associations in the nation, represents more than 12,000 physicians and allied health professionals who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the ears, nose, throat, and related structures of the head and neck. The Academy serves its members by facilitating the advancement of the science and art of medicine related to otolaryngology and by representing the specialty in governmental and socioeconomic issues. The organizations mission: Working for the Best Ear, Nose, and Throat Care.

Taken from: www.newswise.com

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