Respiratory Function and Language Abilities of Profoundly Deaf Adolescents with and without Cochlear Implants
The objective of the study was to investigate whether hearing loss has an effect on the ventilatory functional capability and whether possible deviations of ventilatory variables from the reference ranges could have to do with the language abilities of deaf adolescents. Spirometric evaluations were performed in 72 prelingually profoundly deaf adolescents with and without cochlear implants (CI) and compared with the results of a control group consisting of 48 participants with normal hearing (CG). The deaf adolescents showed a significantly lower vital capacity (VC), forced vital capacity (FVC), and expiratory flows (PEF and MEF) compared with their hearing peers. The adolescents with CI demonstrated predominantly the oral communication mode, which however did not affect the students’ education achievements. Perseverance of oral communication was also associated with higher FVC and PEF, compared with deaf participants without CI. We conclude that sensory deprivation of prelingually deaf adolescents affects the respiratory system function. The use of oral communication seems to have beneficial effects on respiratory performance in profoundly deaf adolescents.
KeywordsCochlear implant Deafness Hearing loss Lung function Oral communication Spirometry
We are grateful to all deaf and hearing adolescents who participated in this study and their schoolteachers.
Conflicts of Interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest regarding the article.
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