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October 6, 2005

Workshop for hearing-impaired kids at PGI

From: Chandigarh Newsline - Chandigarh,India - Oct 6, 2005

Express News Service

Chandigarh, October 6: A cochlear implant education programme for the hearing-impaired and their deaf children was organised by the Department of Otolaryngology, PGIMER, here. Around 150 patients and their parents attended the programme.

The aim was to educate the public regarding the treatment options available for deaf children.

''The total incidence of hearing loss in the country is 4 to 7 per cent. One child out of every 1,000 children suffers from hearing loss,'' said Dr Naresh Panda, HoD, ENT, PGI. Cochlear implant, he said, was an option that was catching up despite the costs involved.

''In the seven cases where cochlear implant was performed at PGI, six were reimbursed by the state or the patients' parents' organisation,'' said Dr Panda.

Once the implant is done, an auditive rehabilitation is also required, Dr Panda said. While the facility costs anything between Rs 75,000 to Rs 1 lakh in the private sector, at PGI, the rehabilitation costs nothing.

The implant is better than a hearing aid as the latter works well only in cases of mild to moderate deafness, Dr Panda explained.

However, he clarified that the cochlear implant was used when the patient suffers from a nerve deafness. The electrodes of the implant stimulate the auditory nerve directly. This action is otherwise performed by auditory hair in our inner ear (the innermost part of the ear) which are impaired due to some reason or the other, causing deafness, explained Dr Panda.

At a session held today, Dr Panda said, around six patients were identified for the implant. Also present at the session were audiologist Dr Anu Nagarkar and Anuradha.

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