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Profound Sensorineural Hearing Loss, Caused By Spinal Meningitis

Dear Ask The Doctor:
I suffer a Profound Sensorineural Hearing Loss in my left ear. When I was just a baby I got Spinal Meningitis, which nearly killed me and was assumed for the worst. Years later doctors found out I lost part of my hearing, and the illness I suffered burned the cochlear sense hairs. I am now 21 and been wanting a surgery and be able to hear normally for the first time. Is there a surgery that can repair or replace it? I know a Cochlear Implant won't work and I wouldn't want that anyway.


Hearing loss iw a well recognized complication of meningitis. When it occurs. can be quite devastating. There is a surgical procedure which has show potential promise in the treatment of this condition. It is called a Auditory Brainstem Implant (ABI). The procedure was originally developed for the treatment of hearing loss associated with a disease called Neurofibromatosis type II (NFII) but has shown to be of benefit in other types of hearing loss including post meningitis hearing loss.
The procedure is not readily available everywhere. In fact, the US Food and Drug Administration has only approved the use of ABI for treatment of NFII hearing loss. However, there are other countries. mainly in Europe, which have approved the ABI for use in other situations, including post meningitis.
The highly technical nature of the procedure requires surgeon with specific expertise in performing such surgery. And of course, is not without risks. Complications may be due anesthesia or directly realtedd to surgery. these include infection, unintentional injury to nearby tissue/organs, excessive bleeding. the procedure should be discussed at length with an experience surgeon to fully understand all that is involved and likely outcome.
Best of luck!

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