Children with hearing loss are at high risk for delays in acquiring and advancing speech and language, and achieving psycho-educational success. This fact, well known for decades, escapes clear guidelines for treatment when the hearing loss is unilateral, sensorineural, and “unaidable.” The traditional definition of “unaidable” is challenged by modern cochlear implants, which provide a potential—albeit “off-label” solution—to provide bimodal or binaural hearing in cases of unilateral hearing loss.
Topic(s): Pediatric Audiology, unilateral deafness/unaidable, Cochlear Implants (CI)
A baby fails a newborn hearing screening and an auditory brainstem response (ABR) indicates profound bilateral hearing loss. From an audiologist’s perspective, fitting for hearing aids and an evaluation for cochlear implant candidacy are often the next steps. But for parents the lag time between identification and implantation is often a stressful time that involves waiting and worrying. This lag, during which infants do not have access to auditory linguistic input, occurs during a sensitive period of prelinguistic communication development (Ruben and Schwartz, 1999).
Topic(s): Cochlear Implants (CI), Newborn Hearing Screening, Hearing Loss, Pediatric Audiology
On Friday, March 20, 2020, the entire group of audiologists I work with at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) was taking care of patients in person. Three days later, Monday, March 23, 2020, we were providing all of our services remotely.
We had been thinking about expanding into telehealth over the past year, but we had all sorts of reasons why it wouldn’t, couldn’t, and shouldn’t work. And then one day, it had to work or we wouldn’t have been able to take care of our patients.
Topic(s): President's Message, audiology, Telehealth, tele-audiology, teleaudiology, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), CARES Act, Medicare, cochlear implant codes, Cochlear Implants (CI)
The world of cochlear implants (CIs) is evolving. What was once a treatment pathway for a limited population of patients with profound hearing impairment has expanded to include individuals with moderate to severe hearing loss. CI technology, which began as basic sound processing through an electrode array, has grown to include Bluetooth streaming and cell phone connectivity.
Topic(s): Cochlear Implants (CI), CI, Hearing Impairment (HI), Hearing Loss, Hearing Aids