ABOUT COCHLEAR IMPLANTS
Retiree Arthur Seah, 65, received a cochlear implant as part of a Changi General Hospital (CGH) study that started in August last year.
"The trial is essentially looking at the outcome and effectiveness of using cochlear implants for restoring hearing in patients with single-sided deafness," said Dr Yuen Heng Wai, a ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist at CGH.
A cochlear implant restores hearing to the deafened side by sending electrical signals to the brain.
They were previously approved for use only in people with hearing loss in both ears.
Another way to restore hearing is through the bone conduction implant, which creates sound waves by vibrating the skull, Dr Yuen said.
Adding that Europe has started conducting cochlear implant trials three years ago, the ENT specialist said: "The preliminary result is promising."
Everyone can use this implant, unless the cochlear is poorly formed or the hearing nerves are damaged.
A cochlear implant is subsidised by the Government only when it is used in people with hearing loss in both ears.
A Ministry of Health spokesman said this was due to a lack of clinical evidence of its effectiveness in people with one-sided hearing loss.
More information on hearing loss and subsidies will be shared by audiologists and specialists during a forum on Sept 27 at the CGH Training Centre.
It costs $5 for the two-hour session from 9am.
Those who are interested can register via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by dialling 6850 2737.