Cochlear Implant


CLEVELAND, Ohio (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Sensorineural hearing loss occurs from damage to the inner ear, the place of origin of the nerve that runs from the ear to the brain, or the brain. There are 66 thousand new cases every year. Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic worked on modifying the cochlear implant to save children’s hearing as early as possible.

Two-year-old Corbin Lapso is the life of the party!

But there wasn’t always a party in the Lapso household … Corbin was born with bilateral severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss, meaning he couldn’t hear anything, even with regular hearing aids.

Corbin’s mother, MaKaela Lapso says, “I remember her saying, ‘It’s lifelong and permanent and can only be reversed with hearing technology.’ and at that point, the room kind of went black.”

Pediatric Audiologist Samantha Anne recommended Corbin undergo bilateral implant surgery at just seven months old to restore his hearing.

Doctor Anne explains, “The FDA-approval for implantation for infants with bilateral severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss is nine months of age. At Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital, we strongly believe that we should get these babies to hear as early as possible, as long as it’s done in a safe manner.”

Doctor Anne says today, Corbin is fully recovered, and … “He is thriving. He is doing probably more than he should be at his age.”

MaKaela says, “For some, that was, like, the end of the journey, like, he was treated, he was ‘fixed,’ but for us, that was just the start. You know, we were finally able to see what this little guy is capable of.”

Doctor Anne and her colleagues discovered through their research that the risks of performing the surgery earlier, rather than later, were the same but the outcome is much better.

Contributors to this news report include: Adahlia Thomas, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.



REPORT #3073

BACKGROUND: Sensorineural hearing loss, or SNHL, can happen after inner ear damage, or problems from the nerve pathways that connect the inner ear to the brain. Soft sounds may be hard to hear, and even loud sounds can be unclear, or sound muffled. SNHL is the most common type of permanent hearing loss. This type of hearing loss can be caused by illnesses; drugs that are toxic to hearing; hearing loss that runs in the family; aging; a blow to the head; a problem in the way the inner ear is formed; or listening to loud noises or explosions. A test called audiometry can be given to check the type and amount of hearing lost. Imaging tests, such as a CT or MRI scan, may be prescribed if a head injury has occurred.

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CURRENT TREATMENT FOR SNHL: Treatment for hearing loss highly depends on the cause. A critical part of an evaluation will be a hearing test (audiogram) performed by an audiologist to determine the severity of the hearing loss, as well as whether it is conductive, sensorineural, or both. An ENT specialist may recommend specific treatment options based on the results. Treatment options can include continuing observation with repeated hearing tests; medical therapy such as corticosteroids (oral or injection through the eardrum) used to reduce cochlear hair cell swelling and inflammation after exposure to loud noises; diuretics may be used for Ménière’s disease; low-sodium diet; evaluation and fitting of a hearing aid(s) or other assistive listening devices; preferential seating in class for school children; surgery to correct the cause of the hearing loss; or surgery to implant a hearing device.


REVERSING HEARING LOSS: A biotechnology company, Frequency Therapeutics, is seeking to reverse hearing loss with a new kind of regenerative therapy. The company uses small molecules to program progenitor cells, a descendant of stem cells in the inner ear, to create the tiny hair cells that allow us to hear. Hair cells die off when exposed to loud noises or drugs including certain chemotherapies and antibiotics. The treatment is designed to be injected into the ear to regenerate these cells within the cochlea. In clinical trials, the company has already improved people’s hearing as measured by tests of speech perception. “Speech perception is the No. 1 goal for improving hearing and the No. 1 need we hear from patients,” says the company’s co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Chris Loose, PhD. Results showed statistically significant improvements in speech perception in some participants after a single injection, with some responses lasting nearly two years.


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Jenna Homrock

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