Dr. Pradeep Vundavalli established the Asian Super Speciality ENT hospital in Visakhapatnam with the sole intention of providing high-quality, result-oriented treatment at an affordable price so that people from all walks of life can have access to the best ENT care.
Dr. Pradeep Vundavalli is a leading specialist for cochlear implantation in Visakhapatnam, having treated thousands of patients from all over Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
Read on to know about a cochlear implant, how it works, and who can opt for it.
Let’s begin with what is a cochlear implant?
A cochlear implant is a small electronic device that helps improve moderate to severe hearing loss in adults, children, and babies.
The cochlear implant has external and internal components that electrically stimulate the cochlear nerve.
The outer part which sits behind the ear picks up sound with the microphone. Then the speech processor analyzes the sounds and transmits them to the internal receiver.
The internal part is implanted behind the ear, below the skin. The receiver changes the digital signals into electrical impulses.
It then sends the signals to electrodes in the inner ear (cochlea), which stimulates the cochlear nerve. From there, they are forwarded to the brain to produce a hearing sensation.
These sounds are not like normal hearing. You will need speech therapy and rehabilitation to learn how to interpret these sounds correctly.
Why might you need cochlear implant surgery?
Cochlear implants help restore hearing in people who are no longer benefitted by using hearing aids. They can improve their communication and quality of life. Depending on your severity of hearing loss, they can be placed in one ear or both ears. To treat severe hearing loss in both ears, bilateral (both ears) cochlear implants are used. They are usually used for infants and children who are learning to speak.
Both adults and children as young as 6 to 12 months can benefit from cochlear implantation treatment. Dr. Pradeep Vundavalli, an expert ENT specialist in Visakhapatnam, may recommend a cochlear implant if you have hearing loss and rely heavily on lip-reading.
You are a candidate for cochlear implantation treatment if:
- Hearing aids are of no help to you
- The clarity of hearing is poor in both the ears
- You depend on lip-reading despite wearing hearing aids
- Your hearing loss interrupts your spoken communication
What is the procedure for Cochlear implantation in Visakhapatnam?
At our ENT hospital for cochlear implantation in Visakhapatnam, Dr. Pradeep Vundavalli will decide whether you will benefit from the implant after a detailed medical evaluation. He may ask you to undergo:
- Hearing, speech, and sometimes balance tests
- MRI or CT scan to evaluate the condition of your cochlea and inner ear
- Cochlear implantation is done under general anesthesia. Dr. Pradeep Vundavalli will make an incision behind the ear and form a slight indentation in the mastoid bone where the internal device is kept.
- Then he will make a small opening in the cochlear to insert the electrodes. He will suture the incision so that the internal device is beneath your skin.
- After surgery, you will be monitored closely and will be able to go home the same day or the next day.
- You will have to visit the ENT hospital for cochlear implantation for a follow-up appointment.
- Dr. Pradeep Vundavalli, a specialist for cochlear implantation in Visakhapatnam, will not activate the cochlear implants as time is needed for the incision to heal.
- He will add the cochlear implant's external parts around a month after the surgery and then activate the internal components.
- You will have to regularly visit your doctor for a couple of months for adjustments. Further, you will also need rehabilitation to improve your hearing and speech skills.
What is the advantage of a cochlear implant?
The benefit of a cochlear implant greatly depends on your procedure and rehabilitation process. With it, you might be able to:
- Understand speech without lip reading
- Recognize different environmental sounds
- Ability to understand where the voice is coming from
- Hear phone conversation, music
- Enjoy television programs without captions
- For toddlers, it could help them learn how to talk
What is the risk of cochlear implantation?
Some of the potential risks of cochlear implantation are:
- Infection at the surgery site
- Facial paralysis
- Balance issues
- Ringing in the ear
- Taste changes
Other potential risks include:
- It can cause loss of remaining natural hearing in the implanted ear.
- Surgery needed to remove the implant due to infection or repair the faulty internal device.