RNTNEH work highlighted in hearing film 

05/03/2015 00:00 
The work of surgeons and audiologists at UCLH’s Royal National Throat Nose and Ear Hospital (RNTNEH) has been highlighted in a BBC One Show film following a patient whose hearing was restored with a cochlear implant.
 
 Peter Gadsdon, from Epping in Essex, has suffered hearing problems since childhood due to a hereditary condition, and became profoundly deaf 15 years ago. The condition affects the cochlea in the inner ear, where noises from the outside world are translated into sound signals that the brain can understand.

Peter’s hearing loss was so pronounced that for years he has relied on his wife Melanie, who also has hearing problems, to manage his working life as a window fitter.

He was seen by Prof Shakeel Saeed, surgeon and clinical director of the RNTNEH, who carried out a cochlear implant operation. During the operation a ‘well’ is made above and behind the ear to house the implant, an electronic device consisting of a sound receiver attached to a cable containing 22 electrodes which send sound signals directly to the brain. The procedure is carried out using surgical tools that are no more than a millimetre across.

A month after the surgery the implant is switched on, and cameras where there to capture the moment Peter heard sounds, including his wife’s voice, for the first time in a decade and a half. The film was broadcast on Wednesday evening’s One Show, which attracts five million viewers each day.

Speaking on the show, music-lover Peter said: “I can hear very well now, I can hear everything. The hospital gave me a lead direct from the implant to a computer, and I went back to all the 60s songs on a computer and can hear them.”

Prof Saeed said: “For some patients with hearing loss a cochlear implant can change their life. I’m delighted that Peter is once again experiencing the sounds he’s been missing for so long.”

View the film below (4 mins and 45secs, and 44 mins 30 secs) 

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