Cochlear Implants and Meningitis
Children who have cochlear implants have a higher risk of getting bacterial meningitis.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:
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 PDF document?) or the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine(What is a PDF document?).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.
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