Ear Science Institute Australia – Subiaco, Western Australia

 

The Ear Science Institute Australia – formerly Lions' Ear and Hearing Institute for fifteen years – was officially launched on Thursday 22nd November 2002, by B.Kucera MLA, Minister for Health and the Institute's founding director, the well-known Professor Marcus Atlas, who is fully conversant with cochlear implants. It aim is to reduce ear diseases by researching into the causes, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of all ear and hearing disorders. More surprisingly, this institute and its clinics (called Lions' Hearing) present in several Australian cities, are a not for profit organization, closely linked with The Lions Hearing Foundation which supports their activities. This means all funds come entirely from donations.

This institute contains also the Lions' Hearing Clinic of Subiaco, which is a center of hearing aid fitting and rehabilitation since thirty years, and one of the four cochlear implant centres in Perth and its suburbs since ten years.
I've met the Cochlear Hearing Specialist of this clinic, Chris Broadbent, and the General Manager of the clinic, Ronel Cshester-Browne, who accepted to explain me the clinic's work with implants.
The clinic’s staff,, comprises, with the eminent Pr Atlas, implantable hearing specialists for Cochlear and Med-El, audiologists, hearing aids technicians and ancillary staff to help you going through all stages of your journey back to sound.
The clinic makes around 300 implant surgeries every year. Around 200 patients receive a Cochlear implant, and the 70-100 others receive a Med-El or a Neurelec implant.
 
The surgeons started to practice bilateral implantation around 1995. Since this date, the number of bilateral implantees increases every year, because, when convinced by their first implant, people often come back for a second implant. However, bilateral implantees are chiefly grownups, not children.
 
The proportion of children and grownups implantees in the clinic is around 50-50%
You can find the same proportion between those born deaf and those become deaf.
The average age of implantation in the clinic is around 2 years old – a baby can be implanted from the age of three months, and there is no age limit for being implanted; the patients must only be physically able to bear the anaesthesia and the surgery.
The patients come chiefly from hearing families ; however there is also a few who come from deaf families too, and their number increases step by step throughout years.
 
The eligibility conditions for receiving a cochlear implant are the same than in every other clinic :
– have moderate to profound hearing loss in both ears
– receive little or no benefit from hearing aids
– score 50% or less on sentence recognition tests (without lip-reading) in the ear to be implanted, with an hearing aid.
– score 60% or less on sentence recognition tests in the non-implanted ear or in both ears with hearing aids

– have a sensorineural hearing loss – in other words your hearing loss has to be due to a damage in inner ear and not in the outer or middle ear, because cochlear implant would be inefficient for theses types of hearing loss which can be helped by other medical treatments.
– have some hearing nerves still working, to be sure the information given by cochlear implant will be well-conducted to your brain.

 
These conditions are easily checked up by three medical examinations : an hearing test, including a recognition test and an audiogram, a scanner of your inner ear, and sometimes an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) to see in detail you inner ear's tissues. Finally, you will have also a vestibular examination to ensure that you do not incur some balance problems after the surgery.
 
The surgery lasts from one hour and half to two hours, and is a routine procedure performed by an Ear Nose and Throat surgeon. You will exit the clinic around three days after the surgery and have two to three weeks of physical recovery, to allow the scar and inner organic tissues to heal before the switch-on of your ear processor.
From this date, the clinic will continue a close follow-up care during at least one year, to be sure your mappings and hearing recovery become stable. Then you will have to go at clinic only a day by year, to do a global check-up and a new mapping if needed.
After the switch-on, you will follow a phase of rehabilitation – or habilitation for kids – to learn how to listen and understand sounds with the implant. Most of implantees do this with a speech therapist outside clinic – this is the case of Lions Hearing’s patients.
There is also a technical support service for Cochlear and Med-El products that you can contact if you have any problem with your processor.
The clinic also provides around 400 Baha and hybrid implant surgeries every year – to have further information about Baha implant, please see there : http://www.cochlear.com/au/hearing-loss-treatments/bone-conduction-implants-adults
 
 
Practical Information :
Ear Science Institute Australia (formerly Lions' Ear and Hearing Institute),
1 Salvado Road Subiaco WA 6008
subiaco@lionshearing.com.au
Lions' Hearing Clinic – Implant centre
Ground Floor, E Block
Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital,
Nedlands WA 6009
Cochlear consultant: Mr. Chris Broadbent,
Audiologist and Implantable Hearing Specialist for Western and South Australia.

:Référent Cochlear : Mr. Chris Broadbent,
Audiologist and Implantable Hearing Specialist for Western and South Australia.

http://www.cochlear.com

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