It is known that children with cochlear implants in both ears seem to have a hard time in regulating the loudness and pitch of their voices. But a study claims that voice control is apparently achieved as time passes.
Cochlear implants offer the perception of sound through the conversion of sound stimuli into electrical impulses, which are received by the cochlear nerve and processed by the central auditory system. These details were provided as background information.
The authors commented, “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.”
Around 27 children from 3 to 15 years were apparently examined by Theresa Holler, M.D., and colleagues at the Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Volunteering children were supposedly required to say the vowel ‘a’ for roughly 3 seconds at a comfortable pitch and volume. An average of around three repetitions was taken. The experts evaluated digitally and compared with acoustic outcomes of children who seemed to have an implant in one ear and also with the normal standards for hearing children.
It was observed that the results appeared to be steady with children who had an implant in one ear. Those who had implants in both ears apparently exhibited poorer control over the pitch and loudness of their voice as opposed to normal hearing. Long-term control of pitch seemed to enhance as children utilized their hearing aids, and consequently were exposed to hearing, for a lot more time.
The authors mentioned, “To our knowledge, this is the first study to objectively evaluate acoustic voice outcomes in children with bilateral cochlear implants and to report the influence of overall time in sound on acoustic parameters.”
The authors remarked, “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.”
They concluded by mentioning that future work is planned to develop and evaluate therapeutic tools that will specifically address these areas in implant recipients, with the objective of minimizing or eliminating these voice abnormalities.
The study was published in the Archives of Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.