DURING Hearing Awareness Week (August 20 to 26) Yagoona mother Anh Pham wants nothing more than to make clear how a cochlear implant has proven to be life changing for her one-year-old son, Austin Nguyen.
One in six Australians are deaf, hearing impaired or has a chronic ear disorder. As technology advances, there are more possibilities than ever before for people with hearing loss to continue to be involved in the community and prosper in their workplace.
"Cochlear implants have helped Austin become closer to sound and in harmony with nature. He can hear birds singing, hear what we say to him and he responds back verbally," she said.
"It has not only changed his life but has changed the life of our whole family," she said.
At 11 months of age, Austin received a cochlear implant through Sydney Cochlear Implant Centre (SCIC), a service of the charity, Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC).
"Austin is very lucky to have been born in Australia," Anh said.
"He received his cochlear implant at Westmead Children's Hospital surrounded by a great team of doctors and nurses, along with enthusiastic and loving social workers."
RIDBC audiologist, Eleanor McKendrick said unlike hearing aids, cochlear implants don't just make sounds louder, they stimulate the hearing nerves directly providing access to higher quality, more detailed sound at close to normal levels.
"It is important to remember that there are no age limitations for a cochlear implant. This has been proven through the implantation and success of recipients in their late 90s," she said.
For more information about cochlear implants, visit ridbc.org.au/scic or call 1300 658 981..