Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Children's Health

Font Size

Cochlear Implants for Kids: Earlier Surgery Works Best

Study Identifies a Window of Opportunity for Cochlear Implants in Deaf Children

Cochlear Implant Just the First Step

There is a lot of work involved in the evaluation process, and after implantation as well, experts tell WebMD.

“If you put an implant on a child, you have to be sure to have the family on board with doing everything that needs to be done,” says Anne Oyler, an audiologist and the associate director of Audiology Professional Practice at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in Rockville, Md. This includes teaching the child to develop listening skills and interacting with the child.

“You can’t just put a cochlear implant on a child and be done with it,” she says. “There is still work involved with helping to develop speaking skills,” Oyler tells WebMD. “In and of itself, a cochlear implant is not a cure.”

Hearing aids also play a role in helping children with hearing loss who go on to get cochlear implants. “Even if child can’t hear and understand speech with a hearing aid, there is some stimulation and that is very important for later on,” she says.

Parents need to make sure newborns get a hearing screen within the first month of their life. “If they don’t pass, they need to follow up, and if they do have hearing loss, get started with hearing aids, and if the hearing aid is not helping, go on to cochlear implants,” says cochlear implant surgeon Mark Wiet, MD, head of the section of otology, neurotology, and skull base surgery at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

There is always a hearing aid trial before implants, he says.

That said, “cochlear implants are a modern miracle. Kids that are implanted can be mainstreamed in school, so it can change the course of their life,” he says.

1|2

Today on WebMD

child with red rash on cheeks
What’s that rash?
plate of fruit and veggies
How healthy is your child’s diet?
 
smiling baby
Treating diarrhea, fever and more.
Middle school band practice
Understanding your child’s changing body.
 

worried kid
fitArticle
boy on father's shoulder
Article
 
Child with red rash on cheeks
Slideshow
girl thinking
Article
 

babyapp
New
Child with adhd
Slideshow
 
rl with friends
fitSlideshow
Syringes and graph illustration
Tool
 
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Chill Out and Charge Up Challenge – How to help your tribe de-stress and energize.
Spark Change Challenge - Ready for a healthy change? Get some major motivation.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply