It is a myth that we hear through our ears. The true organ of hearing is our brain. The ears merely help in conducting sound from the environment to the brain.
There is immense impact of untreated hearing loss in children. It is well established that a child with hearing loss cannot develop speech and language abilities. This puts the child at a disadvantage in school, higher education and limits future professional opportunities.
The magnitude of the social impact in India is considerable. Four in every 1000 children suffer from severe to profound hearing loss. Every year 100,000 babies are born with hearing deficiency.
While speech and language skills improve through our entire lifetime, the hearing part of the brain develops very rapidly in babies. In fact, the most critical time for language development is from birth to 2 years. After the age of two, the child’s ability to learn spoken language by listening starts to decline.Think how difficult it is to learn a new subject or a foreign language after completing college. It takes a lot of effort for our brain to assimilate new information as we are older.
An unborn child starts hearing sounds, such as her mother’s voice, from the sixth month of gestation. A child who is born with a hearing loss has already been deprived of sound for six months! It therefore becomes extremely critical to provide such a child with access to hearing as soon as possible.
There is scientific evidence available that proves that the brain loses its capacity to understand sound if it is not used for a long time. It becomes imperative to then intervene early and provide access to hearing through cochlear implants as soon as possible.
So the message from Mother Nature is crystal clear – Use it or lose it.