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Devin Rheeders needs your help


9 November 2021

Many of the symptoms of auditory neuropathy can also be caused by more common types of hearing loss.

Suzuki Ermelo (WEB) 22 September

Devin Rheeders (4) needs the assistance of the Ermelo community. Devin has been evaluated at the Ear Institute’s Cochlear Implant Unit. The diagnosis of a profound sensorineural hearing loss was made, with a comprehensive audiological test battery, which included electroacoustic and advanced audiometric procedures. The most powerful hearing aids indicated insufficient hearing thresholds for normal functioning and development. Implanting Devin will give him access to sound which will provide him with the only chance of age-appropriate speech and language development. This will help him to perform better at school, and provide him opportunity to a better education resulting in independent employment as an adult in the future. If not implanted, it may lead to permanent changes in the auditory cortex in the brain, which may make it impossible to benefit from a cochlear implant, or any form of hearing restoration surgery in future.

Auditory neuropathy is a rare type of hearing loss. It is caused by disruption of the nerve impulses travelling from the inner ear to the brain, although what causes this is unknown, and there is no cure. Both ears are usually affected, and the hearing loss ranges from mild to severe. Auditory neuropathy is sometimes referred to as a form of neural or nerve deafness. In some cases, the affected person can hear, but has difficulty understanding spoken words, particularly in noisy environments. Hearing and understanding speech may be improved by the use of hearing aids or cochlear implants. The symptoms of auditory neuropathy vary from one person to the next, and can fluctuate. Symptoms can include: mild to severe hearing loss, sounds fading in and out, difficulty understanding spoken words (speech perception), normal hearing but with poor speech perception worsened speech perception in noisy environments.

Many of the symptoms of auditory neuropathy can also be caused by more common types of hearing loss. Devin is not on an active medical aid, and will therefore have to raise the entire amount of R375 000 to proceed with this life-changing operation.

The gift of hearing is a gift of life, and Devin will benefit from a cochlear implant for the rest of his life. Donations can be paid into the following bank account, referring to the stipulated bank reference: Account name: Foundation for Children with a Hearing Loss in SA, Standard Bank, Branch: Gezina, Branch code: 01484500, Account number 011794798, Reference AB00468/Devin. Please send proof of all payments, together with your contact details to the Foundation manager: In some cases, donations are tax deductible, please enquire with us.

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