From my understanding, this means that the nerves that transmit sound from his ear to his brain didn't fully develop. During the testing process, they would send sounds into his ear to watch for the brain's response. The frequency had to be increased significantly (up to the level of a jet engine) in order to see a possible slight response from his left ear. So, his hearing loss has been deemed profound meaning there is little to no hearing in that ear. As a result of such extreme hearing loss, there are going to be several options available to Logan. More testing will need to be done in order to figure out what is going to work best.
When some people find out about Logan's hearing loss, they ask about the other ear. Once I say that the right ear currently hears normally, the response is often, "Oh well, at least he has one good ear." Yes, we are definitely lucky that he has "one good ear", but he is going to be faced with many challenges that most people would never consider. Our bodies were designed to have two ears that work together. During my research, I came across this, which I found interesting:
To your brain, one ear + one ear = three! A sound that is barely audible at 20 feet away with only
one ear is easily audible at 30 feet when two ears are listening. This is called the binaural
summation effect and is the result of the two hearing nerves crossing many hundreds
of times before the information reaches the cortex.
We are extremely fortunate to live in Toronto, the home of a world renowned children's hospital, Sick Kids. They are currently doing a study on cochlear implants for unilateral hearing loss in babies. This work is only being done in a couple places around the world and the doctor we were lucky enough to see last week, is at the forefront of cochlear implant research. We had met with an audiologist before our appointment with the doctor. By the time he came in, I was feeling a little overwhelmed and didn't think to ask several of the questions running through my head. We are heading back there in the next few weeks because we have decided to start out by getting Logan fitted for a hearing aid. While this likely won't help him much, because his hearing loss is so severe, it will be a chance for him to get used to wearing something on his ear/head. More testing will be required to see if Logan is a candidate for an implant. From the sounds of it, early intervention is key. Implanting as a baby will have a dramatic effect on the way his brain will develop.
For now, I'm in information gathering mode, trying hard not to get too overwhelmed. I definitely do feel sad when I think of the challenges that are ahead. It could be worse though. So much worse. I can certainly put things in perspective, especially when we walk into Sick Kids.
Slight segue....I've been doing a spin class (babies allowed!) to kick my butt back into shape. I've been told repeatedly that I need to protect his good ear, so he wears his ear muffs and looks ridiculously adorable in them! I love them, Logan does not. He figured out quite quickly how to knock them off. The lucky little dude usually gets to leave the room and hang out with one of the people who works at the studio! Spoiled guy ;)