Advantages of

Early Cochlear Implantation

Your child may be able to benefit from a cochlear implant regardless of his or her age. However, for children who have become deaf before learning to speak, success is more likely if they are implanted at a young age.1 These children receive auditory information at a time when their brain is especially ready to learn language. In many cases, when children with a profound hearing impairment are implanted early enough, their hearing and speech can develop in a manner similar to that of their hearing peers. In these cases, spoken language appears to emerge almost naturally.2,3

For children who have had experience hearing and who have lost their hearing later, a similar rule applies: the shorter the time period of deafness, the more likely they are to benefit from a cochlear implant.

Today, children are being implanted at ages as young as their first year of life. This is due in part to improved surgical procedures.4 Additionally, research has shown better results for children implanted at a very young age.5,6
  1. Valencia D M et al. Cochlear implantation in infants less than 12 months of age. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2008 Jun; 72(6):767-73.
  2. Moeller M et al. Vocalizations of infants with hearing loss compared with infants with normal hearing: Part I – phonetic development. Ear Hear. 28(5), 2007 Sep:605-627.
  3. Moeller M et al. Vocalizations of infants with hearing loss compared with infants with normal hearing: Part II – transition to words. Ear Hear. 28(5), 2007 Sep:628‑642.
  4. Johr M et al. Ear surgery in infants under one year of age: its risks and implications for cochlear implant surgery. Otol Neurotol. 29(3), 2008 Apr:310‑313.
  5. Anderson I et al. Cochlear implantation in children under the age of two – what do the outcomes show us? Int J of Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 68:425-431, 2004.
  6. Schweizer M, Brachmaier J et al. Longitudinal assessment of early implanted children: first results. Presented at NHS 2006. Como, Italy.

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