Children receiving ear implants can manage voices

February 1, 2010

Children who get cochlear implants in both ears eventually can manage the loudness and pitch of their voices, according to a new study.

Children who get cochlear implants in both ears eventually can manage the loudness and pitch of their voices, according to a study published in the January issue of Archives of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

"Although cochlear implants do not restore sound perception as experienced by an individual with normal hearing, the implant provides the user with auditory feedback in the domains of timing, intensity and frequency of sound. These auditory feedback cues may be critical for the user to monitor his or her speech production and to make purposeful moment-to-moment adjustments in voicing," reported study authors Theresa Holler, MD, and colleagues from the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada.

For the potential first-of-its-kind study, 27 children, ages 3 to 15, who received voice assessments had gotten cochlear implants in both ears; these children were compared with a control group.

Study authors noted: "Targeted speech therapies that assist children using cochlear implants in monitoring and modifying the pitch and loudness of their voice would be useful in this setting."