A COCHLEAR implant in babies and toddlers with hearing disabilities before the age of three could enable them to grow up as normal as possible with minimal impact.
LohGuanLye Specialists Centre’s (LSC) ENT head and neck surgeon Datuk Dr Lim Seh Guan said the children could develop normally like any other child.
“They can listen, talk and attend normal schools,” he said during the launching of the fifth ‘Ride For Hearing’ event at the hospital in Macalister Road, George Town.
Jointly organised by LSC and the Penang government, the ‘Ride For Hearing’ event is aimed at creating awareness that children andpeople who are deaf or hearing impaired are in need of help.
LSC audiologist Poh Boon Fong said the objective is to create awareness on the importance of early detection and intervention of those suffering from hearing impairment.
“We also hope to initiate a Cochlear Implant Fund in collaboration with the Kwong Wah Yit Poh Charity Fund,” she said.
Poh said that a nominal sum of RM20 will be charged as registration fee for the ride which will go to the charity fund.
“We will be accepting a maximum of 300 participants. Over 70 people have already signed up for it in the past few days,” she said.
Poh added that the ride would be flagged off from the hospital’s new wing lobby at 7.15am on July 24.
“It will be a 30km-ride from LohGuanLye Specialists Centre to Karpal Singh Drive, Queensbay Mall, back to Karpal Singh Drive from Queensbay Mall to LohGuanLye Specialists Centre,” she said.
She added that participants would receive a customised ear impression of their own ear as a souvenir and a collared T-shirt.
A universal statistic has revealed that three out of 1,000 babies are born to have hearing loss while another three out of the same number will acquire hearing impairment during their early childhood.
In total, six babies out of 1,000 will be affected by hearing loss. One out of three adults over the age of 65, will suffer a certain degree of hearing loss.
LohGuanLye Specialists Centre has conducted 93 cochlear implant surgeries over 11 years since 2005.
Only eight to 10 cochlear implants are carried out by the hospital per year.
The oldest patient in Malaysia to have the implant is 78 years old and the youngest, 13 months.
The hospital was the first toconduct bilateral implants in Malaysia and have done so with 19 patients to date.
The first ‘Ride For Hearing’ event in 2012 was conducted from Penang to Ipoh, the second from Trang to Ao Nang, the third in Vietnam and the fourth in Bali.
Online registration closes on June 16.
Those interested for the ride may register at https://event.howei.com/event/rideforhearingpenang16 or walk-in to LSC’s new wing enquiry counter for the forms.
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