What is the ideal age to get cochlear implant surgery done?
The development of speech and language depends on formation of neural connection when brain is the exposed to auditory(sound) inputs. This capacity of brain to learn speech and develop language decreases after 5-6 years of age and is totally lost after 7-8 years of age. So, it is very important to diagnose hearing loss as early as possible and start intervention early in life. Cochlear implant when done at 6-12 months of age provides natural hearing and near normal – normal development of language provided proper habilitation protocols are followed. Studies have shown better speech discrimination and better results in terms of language development when cochlear implant is done in less than 18 months of age as compared to when it is done after 18 months of age.