By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, January 13: Guwahati based multi–specialty hospital group GNRC has earned the distinction of successfully conducting the first Sophono BAHA (bone conducting hearing aid) case in this part of India.
A 49–year–old lady from Manipur was the beneficiary of this unique achievement.
Revealing this information at a press conference today, senior ENT consultant of the hospital and the doctor in charge of the procedure, Dr. Miklu Sepati, said: “We are glad to inform you about this unique experience. The lady from Manipur was suffering from decreased hearing in both the ears for the last three years. Upon investigation, she was diagnosed with Bilateral Cholesteatoma with Bilateral Labrynthine Fistula and then had undergone right mastoidectomy with repair of Labrynthine Fistula. To continue the process, she was thereafter recommended Sophono BAHA and on her agreement, we subsequently conducted the procedure.”
As per standard norms, the doctors needed to wait for around 30 days to confirm the results of the procedure. “We conducted the tests yesterday and the outcome has been positive,” he said. BAHA is a magnetic implantable bone conductive hearing system. Here, the implant is placed under the skin, above and behind the ear. Using a traditiol bone conduction hearing device that bypasses any problems in the ear cal or middle ear, the Sophono device uses the body’s tural ability to transfer sound through bone conduction.
The device costs around Rs 3.75 lakh. The surgery charges come to around Rs 30,000.
During the conference, GNRC also released a study on deafness and hearing loss in the state of Assam.
Releasing the study to the media, Dr. Sepati said, “Over 5% of the world’s population, that is, around 360 million people have disabling hearing loss, according to a report by the World Health Organisation. Among these, 32 million are children. Moreover, 78 million Indians suffer from significant hearing impairment, which is more than 6.3% of the entire population.”
In case of Assam, this figure translates to 20,79,000 people with hearing impairment, of which Guwahati accounts for 79,406 cases. “Though these figures are hard to believe, the good news is that half of these instances can be easily prevented with timely and proper primary intervention,” Dr Sepati added.