Cochlear Implants and Meningitis
Children who have Reference cochlear implants have a higher risk of getting Reference meningitis Opens New Window.Reference 1 A cochlear implant is a device is implanted in the inner ear to treat severe hearing loss that does not improve with hearing aids.
Experts think one or more factors may put some people with a cochlear implant at higher risk of meningitis than others with an implant. These include people who have:
- An abnormally formed inner ear.
- Had previous meningitis infection.
- Frequent ear infections.
- A poorly functioning Reference immune system Opens New Window.
- Had previous ear or head surgery.
Investigators also are looking at whether the design of the implants contributes to development of meningitis.
To reduce the risk of getting meningitis, people with cochlear implants should get a pneumococcal vaccine (such as the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (What is a Reference PDF Opens New Window document?) or the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (What is a Reference PDF Opens New Window document?).Reference 1 Also, some people with implants had ear infections before they developed meningitis. For this reason, experts recommend that people with implants receive prompt antibiotic treatment for ear infections.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference December 8, 2010|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference W. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease