Health Watch - Technology: Now Hear This

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This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about how technological advances can improve patients’ lives. For patients with some forms of deafness, technology can take the place of normal hearing.

A cochlear implant bypasses the damaged parts of the ear to directly stimulate the auditory nerve, allowing patients to hear. A recent study conducted at UT Southwestern Medical Center found that the result is a quality of life comparable to having natural hearing.

Dr. Betty Loy, clinical research manager in UT Southwestern’s otolaryngology department, says the study shows that wearing a cochlear implant doesn’t seem to cause psychosocial problems in children. Children do better in school and report better quality of life when they receive the implants at an earlier age. In general, children with the implants are about the same as those who grew up with normal hearing in terms of relationships, mental health, self-esteem and school performance.

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March 2010


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