Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Organ Transplant for Deafness

Gotta be grateful that our brains and skulls prevent us from such ridiculous transplants.

From the newsroom of The Monterey County Herald. Monterey, California,Monday, August 23, 2004 .....

Organ transplants for deafness?
By Peter H. Gott, M.D.

Dear Dr. Gott: In this age of medical miracles, in which organ transplantsare readily available and widely used, why isn't there a transplant for oldpeople who are deaf? All that the doctors do is recommend that we put piecesof plastic in our ears and attach amplifiers to them. Can't something elsebe done?

Dear Reader: I have no doubt that a future scientist will develop some sortof transplant for the hearing impairment of old age. In fact, some types oftransplants -- notably cochlear implants -- are currently in use.However, age-related deafness is a difficult and complex problem, caused byactual damage to the hearing structure deep within the skull. This structureis surgically inaccessible and is very small. Therefore, it's safer, easierand less expensive to use a mini-amplifier or a hearing aid.Your point is well taken, but I'm afraid medical science still lacks theskill and technology to treat most deafness with transplants.

To give you related information, I am sending you a copy of my Health Report"Ear Infections and Disorders." Other readers who would like a copy shouldsend a long, self-addressed, stamped envelope and $2 to Newsletter, P.O. Box167, Wickliffe, OH 44092. Be sure to mention the title.

Copyright 2004 The Monterey County Herald