Sharjah: An eight-year-old Indian girl was able to hear sounds for the first time since she was born after a cochlear implant procedure was performed on her in the UAE. After a two-week break to recover from the operation, Nafiya returned to a hospital for a follow up where the cochlear implant was activated for the first time by Muhammed Ayas, senior audiologist at the University Hospital Sharjah.
Ahmad Munzer Al Waa, Head of ENT Department, said: “This was the first cochlear implant procedure at UHS and more similar operations will be conducted as there is an increasing number of infants who are born with hearing impairments.”
Ayas said: “An electrode is implanted in the inner ear where the child is able to hear sounds for the first time and that the sounds Nafiya hears are new through the cochlear implant and gradually with the help of special software sounds re adjusted to near normal level. This would eventually help her hear all the sounds and cope up with the communication demands. Cochlear implants are designed for patients who cannot hear even with a hearing aid”.
A cochlear implant costs about Rs 27 lakh. “Some children will cry, while others will laugh,” Munzer was quoted as saying by the Khaleej Times. The operation can also be performed on adults and it is much easier for these patients to adjust as their speech has already developed.