Sound, a reality for him now
By Our Staff Reporter
CHENNAI, FEB. 2. Silence may be golden. Only to the average ear. But for those atrophied into silence over the years, sounds are divine.
Nine-year old Noorul Ameen might find it difficult to articulate these feelings, but his father-interpreter says it all.
Nine years of silence has at last been penetrated by the nearly obscure device that sits comfortably on his ear - just one part of the medical miracle that has given him an `auditory rebirth.'
Inside his ear and close to his scalp is yet another implanted device which stimulates the nerve endings directly, enabling hearing, says Brendan Murray, cochlear implantation specialist from Sydney. Inside Ameen is the world's latest generation Cochlear Implant speech processor (Esprit 3G), helping him discover the world of sounds.
The process of implanting the device, cochleostomy, was performed by a team of experts led by the director, Madras ENT Research Foundation, Mohan Kameswaran, here. His team of ENT surgeons, Ananth Kumar, Sathya Murali, George Thomas and Anand along with anaesthesiologist Jagannath performed the operation, after which the audiologists S. Manoharan and R.Ranjith took over.
As important as the operation is the process of rehabilitation that takes place later. Speech therapists and audiologists work painstakingly with patients in the post- operative phase, trying to orient them to the world of sounds opening up to them. ``The process of hearing starts as soon as the device is switched on, but the movement towards coherent speech usually takes as long as one to two years,'' Dr. Kameswaran explains.
However, this process will be shortened drastically in the case of Muthu Nayake, a Sri Lankan Government official, whose cochlear implant was switched on 10 days ago. Since he lost his hearing in an accident only three years ago, his re-orientation with the world of sounds is likely to happen much faster.
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