Implanted hearing device puts life back on track for four-yr-old with rare condition

Deccan Chronicle.  | ABILASH MARISWAMY

Nation, Current Affairs

The child sufferes from aural atresia, which occurs in one in every 10,000 or even 20,000.

The implanted device is a bone anchored hearing aid. (Representional Image)

Bengaluru: Hearing loss pose as a great emotional challenge, especially for children, as their self-esteem and ability to self-express falls at a young age itself. This, in turn, will have a psychological effect in schools and friend circles as they are likely to get isolated.

While some even get mentally ill as they start living in a bubble of loneliness and with the feeling of insecurity about themselves.

In one such case, a four-year-old boy was living in loneliness even amidst a crowd of children. Mohan (name changed) would not interact much in school and instead of making friends he started isolating himself.

The parents were unaware of the depth of social withdrawal that had already crept in their child’s life. The parents felt that the reason for his social withdrawal might be because of Microtia (a condition where the parts of the outer structure of a single ear or both ears are missing).

Later the parents noticed that Mohan was not responding to their conversation as well and even the noise around him, hinting that he was unable to hear them clearly.

Later they brought him for a hearing check-up at HearFon, Hearing and Speech Clinic. The experts at Hearfon reconfirmed that along with Microtia in both ears, he was suffering from loss due to the absence of ear canal.

Experts said this condition is termed as aural atresia, which occurs in one out of 10,000 to 20,000. Since he had difficulty in hearing from birth, Mohan found it difficult to interact with his peers and as a result developed insecurities.

After thoroughly assessing his situation, experts decided to implant a device called BAHA to help him improve his hearing. BAHA or bone anchored hearing aid system helps conduct sound directly through the bone and skull surpassing the outer and middle ear.

Krishnakumar G., Audiologist, CEO and founder of HearFon, said, “This was a challenging case for us. After the audiological assessment, we realised that Mohan showed signs of bilateral moderate conductive hearing loss in both ears. He definitely needed hearing aids but deciding the placement of the hearing aids was causing a serious impediment due to the lack of the external pinna and the opening of the ear canal. Considering the limited rehab options available, we finally decided BAHA was the best option for him. We successfully used the soft band and soon after that Mohan could hear the difference straight away.”

Mohan’s mother said, “We’re delighted that Mohan is very happy with the new device and is doing well. We have seen a tremendous change in our son since the treatment and can’t be thankful enough to the doctors who guided us through this.”

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