Hearing & Communication (Big Ears)
The special ‘BIG EARS’ project was added in 2006 and is housed in the TDH Rehabilitation Centre. It is the first of its kind in India with a focus on early detection, diagnosis and therapy of hearing loss. Another area of focus, results from the premise that people with impaired hearing loss can learn to listen and talk. BIG EARS is the only centre in Maharashtra which offers all the services needed for the hearing impaired; from a variety of tests that detect hearing loss to hearing aids, speech therapy, counselling and cochlear implants for the totally deaf.
KEM Hospital has established a neonatal hearing screening program, the only one in Maharashtra, whereby every baby born at KEM is assessed for hearing loss before discharge. Special attention is paid to children in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) as these premature, low birth weight babies are at a high risk to develop deafness.
Early Detection and Intervention
2 in every 1000 children are born deaf in India. Our infant screening programme ensures that every baby born at KEM Hospital undergoes hearing evaluation before leaving the hospital. We offer early fitting of hearing aids and training of speech and language development as early as 3 months of age.
- Optoacoustic emissions
- Pure tone audiometry
- Impedance audiometry
- Free field audiometry
- Tone decay
- Central auditory test
- Pre-cochlear implant evaluation
We offer services for dealing with speech disorders such as stammering, misarticulating, voice disorders and aphasia.
The centre has a trained Clinical Geneticist to assist in determining the cause of the deafness and also counsel the families. Genetic studies are the only way to prenatally diagnose hearing loss.
Cochlear implants are a proven medical option for those with bilateral severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss.
Who Can Benefit from a Cochlear Implant?
- Over 12 months of age
- Receive little or inadequate benefit from hearing aids
- No medical contraindications
- High motivation and appropriate expectations
- Desire to be a part of the hearing world