Docs for Early Detection of Hearing Disability in Kids

Nagpur: Subhashree Mohan (44) had given up hope about her daughter leading a normal life after she was detected with hearing disability when she was 18 months old. Thanks to the paediatrician who diagnosed the disability at an early stage and timely cochlear implant, today Bhagyashree (12) is not only leading a normal life but is also considered a studious student who can sing, dance, play badminton and speak four different languages, including Hindi, Marathi, Tamil and English.

Subhashree shared this experience at a public awareness programme organized in the city jointly by Association of Otolaryngologists of India (AOI), Vidarbha Chapter, Orange City Hospital & Research Institute (OCHRI) and Neeti ENT Clinics on Sunday.

When Subhashree first realized that her daughter wasn’t responding to sounds or music, she immediately saw a paediatrician. “I was in trauma as I had never imagined that something like this could happen with my daughter,” said Subhashree. The paediatrician then suggested her about cochlear implant.
Just two weeks after the surgery, Bhagyashree started showing improvements. With proper rehabilitation therapy, which included regular visits to the audiologist, she regained her hearing ability. Bhagyashree read this out at the programme through a speech written by her.

The programme is part of the weeklong awareness campaign organized to mark World Deafness Day which is observed on September 25. Dr Madan Kapre, director of Neeti Clinics, Dr Sameer Chaudhari from OCHRI, Dr Surendra Gawarle, president of AOI, Dr Gauri Vaidya, ENT surgeon at Neeti, and Ishita Mandaviya, audiologist atGovernment Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), delivered awareness lectures. The no-honking campaign by TOI was also appreciated at the programme.

Vaidya said the results of cochlear implant are uncertain if it is performed on a child who is over two years old. Detecting it in an early stage and performing the implant before the child is two years old is the only solution, Vaidya said and added, “It’s not just the sole responsibility of parents, paediatricians have equal role to play.”

“For the same reason, a hearing ability test should be performed on newborns in neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). It is the duty of paediatricians to suggest the test. However in India, most of the doctors don’t promote it,” she said.

From Monday, diagnostic tests for hearing disability would be offered free of cost at Neeti Clinics and OCHRI to all children and adults, who are at risk or suspected to suffer from hearing loss, from 10am to 2pm. Interested citizens can contact hospitals concerned for appointment.

By: Shakti Singh

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