Expert care for adults & children
Suffering from hearing loss can mean missing out on so much in life. Fortunately, intervention is possible for many people facing this problem.
The Implantable Hearing Device Program at Tufts Medical Center in Boston specializes in improving hearing in both adults and children. We help patients with various types and degrees of hearing loss (ranging from mild to profound), delivering personalized care throughout a lifetime.
Our team is highly experienced in performing evaluations as well as implanting and programming small electronic devices that help provide a sense of sound. These include:
- Cochlear implants: We use products from manufacturers including Cochlear Americas, Advanced Bionics and Med-El.
- Osseointegrated auditory devices: We use bone-anchored hearing systems from Cochlear Americas and Oticon Medical.
Multidisciplinary care makes a difference
At the Implantable Hearing Device Program, you'll have a multidisciplinary team of medical professionals working together for you or your child. Our staff includes:
- Adult and pediatric otolaryngologists
- Adult and pediatric audiologists
- A speech-language pathologist/auditory verbal therapist (AVT) specialist
- A clinical social worker
- An auditory (re)habilitation specialist
- Representatives from other specialties, such as Psychology, Neuropsychology and the Center for Children's Special Needs, depending on patient needs
Children with hearing loss are typically diagnosed at birth or soon thereafter. For the first year of life, an otolaryngologist and audiologist from our team monitor your child's hearing and hearing aid usage. Your child may also benefit from the services of our speech-language pathologist.
If tests show that a cochlear implant is right for your child, implantation takes place as early as his or her first birthday. Following implantation …
- One of our audiologists programs the device on an ongoing basis to maximize its effectiveness.
- Our speech-language pathologist/AVT specialist offers "habilitation" — i.e. helping your child learn how to hear and speak for the first time.
- Our social worker consults with Early Intervention programs and school systems to ensure your child's educational needs are met and provides support during the decision-making process.
Osseointegrated auditory devices cannot be implanted until age five. However, children under five with single-sided deafness or damaged outer or middle ears can be fit with a softband device. Please contact us for more details.
For adults with hearing loss, we also conduct testing to determine candidacy for a cochlear implant or osseointegrated auditory device. After implantation, we place a strong emphasis on rehabilitation. Many adult patients haven't heard certain sounds in a long time. We carefully retrain you on how to interpret the "new" sounds you're hearing post-implantation. Rehabilitation services — which many programs like ours do not provide — are available right here at Tufts MC.
As is the case with pediatric patients, we see adult patients on an ongoing basis to fine-tune their implanted device. Over time, you can expect to visit our clinic yearly, but more frequently if any unexpected needs arise.
We value our relationships with referring physicians and will communicate with you as appropriate regarding your patient's health.