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May 17, 2004

Implants should be given at early age

From: WHO-TV, IA - May 17, 2004

Chicago-AP -- New research suggests the earlier deaf children get cochlear implants -- the better. In one study, children between the ages of one-and-three years improved rapidly in hearing skills during the first year after receiving the implants. The best results were in the youngest kids.

Another study of youngsters who got implants at ages two-to-four shows 80 percent who got them within a year of becoming deaf developed normal oral language skills.

The small electronic devices are approved for use in children as young as 12 months, but some doctors have begun implanting them in even younger hearing-impaired or deaf infants.

The studies appear in the current issue of Archives of Otolaryngology (oh-toh-lehr-ihn-GAH'-loh-gee) Head and Neck Surgery.

Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved.