Clinic Services

Centre for Hearing Evaluation, Conservation & Restoration:

Hearing restoration is a process of restoring hearing in patients (very young children to adults- any age group) even with total hearing loss. MERF ISH is one of the leading centers for hearing restoration in the world. The clinic functions at different levels of assessment, treatment and management of disorders related hearing. The “state of the art” infrastructure with cutting-edge technology symbiozed with customized protocols, uncompromised ethics, work culture and professional expertise makes this clinic unique and one of the best in the world. Students and patients from all over the world visit MERF and MERF ISH for both learning and treatment. MERF & MERF ISH has established implantation centers across India and rest of the world.

First surgery for hearing restoration was performed in 1997 in MERF using Cochlear Implant, since then MERF has performed several thousands of Cochlear Implants to restore hearing in very young children and adults with hearing loss. MERF and MERF ISH have pioneered the art of hearing restoration in all kinds of anomalies causing hearing loss from moderately severe to profound degree. This made MERF & MERF ISH as center of excellence in hearing restoration. MERF & MERF ISH has been the trend setter in hearing restoration in this part of the world.

  • First to perform and publish CI in older pre-lingual with JLN syndrome, since then several patients with JLN syndrome were restored with hearing.
  • In India, first to perform, introduce and demonstrate a new technology and technique using “Contour Implant”
  • First to restore hearing in patients with assymetric hearing loss.
  • First in India and South & South East Asia to perform Auditory Brainstem Implant to restore hearing in patients with NF2.
  • First in Asia to perform Auditory Brainstem Implant (ABI) in children with absent inner ear/nerve, and now the pioneering center for ABI in children. MERF ISH & MERF is the third biggest ABI center in the world. Students of MERF ISH are the only students to have opportunity to observe, earn and experience this most sophisticated procedure. This experience and exposure makes them one of the sought after professionals in the country. MERF ISH has produced by far the best results in children with ABI

Newborn Hearing Screening:

The clinic caters to subjects across all age groups from new born to geriatric. The new born hearing screening program established in MERF ISH is customized for population, culture and system to identify the target group.

Facilities for Diagnosis of Hearing Disorders:

MERFISH is equipped with all the cutting edge technology to assess and evaluate the degree of hearing loss , type of hearing loss and auditory disorders.

Subjective Test (Psycho acoustic test- Pure Tone Audiometry- BOA, Play Audiometery, VRA)., Objective Test (Electrophysiological Test- EOChG., ABR., Cortical Auditory Response)., Physiological Test (OAE & Acoustic & Non-Acoustic Stapedial Reflex).

Hearing Aid Fitting /Optimization:

Hearing Aid Optimization is an art which is blended with data, technique, procedure, life style and counseling to make the best out of the hearing aids. MERF ISH has the infrastructure, expertise and technology to fit the hearing to suit your needs. We are equipped with the latest technology hearing aid analyzer which can assess the functioning of the hearing in all parameters including in-situ measurement. At the same time the information from the analyzer will provide adequate information to optimize the parameters to suit your hearing needs. MERF ISH also has other measures to assess the benefit of the hearing aid using both psycho acoustical, electrophysiological data. Cortical Auditory Evoked Potentials (HEAR Lab) developed at National Acoustic Laboratory (NAL), Australia is used to verify the hearing aid benefit in very young children, based on the data the hearing aid can be programmed adequately to suit the need of the child.

HEAR Lab is a fantastic tool used widely in many countries, MERF IS is the only institute which ahs HEAR Lab in India.

Hearing Implant Clinic:

Cochlear Implant:

Cochlear Implant (CI) is a bio-electronic device implanted in the inner ear to restore hearing in children and adult with permanent hearing loss of various degrees. CI is recommended only for patients who do get adequate functional benefit from conventional hearing aids.

MERF and MERF ISH are forerunner in this treatment since 1997. MERF ISH has revolutionized the CI treatment in India and SAARC Countries. Prof.Mohan Kameswaran and Prof.Ranjith Rajeswaran has developed the center as one of the most sophisticated with “state of the art” infra-structure with the latest cutting edge technology and impeccable serve to the patients. The Model of MERF & MERF ISH is been adopted in any developing countries.

One of the biggest and busiest Cochlear Implant clinic with at least 250 to 300 cochlear implants every year. It has the best facilities to manage and treat the most challenging with cochlear implants. MERF & MERF ISH is the first to develop a comprehensive CI center, the protocols and procedures developed in this clinic are very unique and customized to the needs of the patient and their disorders., this was possible with experience, precision in clinical care, protocols developed based on evidences & research , ethics and extending the boundaries in hearing health care. MERF & MERF ISH has been the trend setter in hearing restoration in this part of the world. The mission is “Hearing for All”- creating a society free of deafness.

MERF & MERF ISH are the first to perform hearing preservation surgery with Cochlear Implant.

Cochlear Implants are performed for children and Adults with:

  • Bilateral Severe to Profound Hearing Loss
  • Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder
  • Single Sided Deafness
  • Bilateral Assymmetric Hearing Loss
  • Hearing Preservation Technique for Ski sloping hearing loss.

Auditory Brainstem Implant:

ABI is the most advanced sophisticated and challenging procedure in hearing restoration. The TEAM is the most experienced team in the world. On an average almost 5 to 7 children undergo ABI in MERF & MERF ISH per year, making us the third biggest ABI clinic in the world. We have patients from all over the world undergoing ABI since this is the only center in Asia with best outcomes. The Government of Tamil Nadu under the “The Chief Minister Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme” approved MERF & MERF ISH for performing ABI.

Professionals and students from all over the world visit MERF & MERF ISH to learn the procedure, since MERF ISH is the only teaching institution with ABI clinic, the students of MERF ISH are well exposed & experienced with this procedure, making them one of the sought after professionals in the country.

Implantable Bone Conduction Hearing Devices (IBCHD):

Bone Conduction hearing devices are implanted in children and adults with atresia of external ear/ear canal, Single Sided Deafness and active middle ear diseases were conventional hearing aids cannot be used. We have a large series of patients with IBCHD. MERF & MERF ISH has very unique protocols to assess these patients and optimize hearing for these individuals.

Totally Implantable Hearing Device:

MERF & MERF ISH are the first to try the Totally Implantable Hearing Device in adults with permanent hearing loss.

VESTIBULAR / BALANCE CLINIC

The Vestibular system is one of the integral systems which helps in the maintenance of balance in the three dimensional space. There are various peripheral and central disorders of the vestibular system that leads to various symptoms like imbalance, vertigo and dizziness. Dizziness is a symptom that can vary from mild unsteadiness to a severe whirling sensation accompanied by nausea and vomiting.  The treatment of dizziness depends on its cause(s) and may consist of medicine, surgery, counseling, and/or rehabilitative measures. After the diagnosis is made, patients are managed with a wide variety of medical, surgical, and/or rehabilitative treatments. The clinic is headed by Dr SathyaMurali and a team of doctors and skilled audiologists perform the tests. The goal of the vestibular / balance clinic at MERF is to work with the family, primary health care provider, other professionals and also with the patient to improve their quality of life and help them to return to their maximum level of activity. The vestibular / balance clinic consists of the state of the art facility for appropriate diagnosis and management of these conditions. The vestibular test battery carried out here consists of the subjective tests and objective tests. The procedures carried out include Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potentials (VEMP), Videonystomography (VNG), Head Impulse Test (vHIT) and caloric testing.Patients are diagnosed and treated effectively in the most cost-efficient manner possible.The test results are also compared with the other audiological findings to give a holistic treatment to the patient.

Community based Hearing Health Care:

MERF & MERF ISH have a very active Community Medicine Department were at least 300 children and adults are screened, diagnosed and treated with all types ENT diseases and communication disorders. Students have the opportunity to visit villages, were no health awareness and facilities are available. The students are accompanied by professionals, were they learn the methods of screening and managing patients were the facilities are very minimal. As the part of the visit they also do awareness program to the people in the village.

As a result we have restored hearing for more than 1500 children living in villages, were there is no medical facilities are available. Now these children have their normal hearing, age matched speech and language skills and leading a normal life. All most all the kids are in normal school, few older children are in universities performing their higher educations. Some of our children who received CI in early years are working Government sector, Private sector, Multi-National Companies And few have them have their own establishment.

Speech and Language Pathology: Clinical Services

MERF Institute of Speech and Hearing (P) Ltd. is rendering services for individuals with speech and language difficulties. The Speech and Language clinic offers speech-language pathology services for all ages with communication difficulties. We work throughout the week from Monday to Saturday for 8.30 am to 8.00 pm. The clinic provides diagnostics and therapeutic services for these individuals. During the initial visit an in depth speech and language assessment is carried out. Once the diagnostic assessment is completed, patient will be enrolled for therapeutic program on appointment basis. We are equipped with the most advanced state of art testing equipment and sophisticated software to provide customized treatment to every patient. We offer individual and group speech and language therapy.

Speech and language clinic also runs special clinic for specific speech and language problems such as;

  • Child language clinic
  • Voice care clinic
  • Fluency enhancement clinic
  • Neuro clinic
  • Swallowing clinic

Child language clinic

The child language clinic at MERF-ISH is dedicated exclusively to the diagnosis and treatment of child language disorders. The goal of child language clinic is to understand and delineate various child language disorders and its associated conditions. The clinic also aims to provide early intervention and to improve the child’s communication skills with the help of qualified and skilled clinicians.

The clinic has sophisticated and child friendly cubicles and materials which will help the children to improve their communication skills.

Services offered:

  • Early identification
  • Early intervention
  • Parent training
  • Home training

Voice care clinic

The voice care clinic is dedicated exclusively to the diagnosis and treatment of laryngeal and voice disorders. The goal of the voice care clinic is to understand and improve its quality and care.

The voice evaluation typically includes comprehensive perceptual and acoustic evaluation using state of the art voice analyzing software (Computerized speech Lab, PRAAT, Dr. Speech) Treatment options are tailored to the individual patient needs to correct vocal misuse and overuse behaviors. Services are available across different age groups.

Services offered:

  • Voice evaluation
  • Voice therapy
  • Counseling on vocal hygiene tips
  • Voice care for professional voice users (Singers, teachers, etc.)
  • Voice awareness campaigns/programs

Fluency enhancement clinic

The fluency enhancement clinic provides services for individuals (children and adult) with fluency disorders such as stuttering, cluttering, neurogenic and psychogenic stuttering. These disorders are assessed and diagnosed using standardized test materials (SSI, SPI, OASES, CALMS rating scale, etc). Subsequent therapy protocols are framed based upon the client’s diagnosis.

Services offered:

  • Fluency evaluation
  • Fluency therapy
  • Counseling
  • Stuttering self-support group
  • Stuttering awareness

Neuro clinic

The neuro clinic provide dedicated services for the assessment and management of various congenital and acquired neurological communication disorders which includes cerebral palsy, childhood Apraxia of speech, adult language disorders, motor speech disorders and dysphagia. The services are provided with the help of well trained speech language pathologist with the use of highly sophiscated materials like Western Aphasia Battery, Frenchey Dysarthria Assessment, Manipal Manual of Cognitive Linguistic Assessment, Manipal Manual Of Swallowing Assessment, Minimental State Examination, Quick Neurological Screening test

Services offered:

  • In depth assessment and diagnosis of various neuro communication disorders.
  • Early intervention for various neuro communication disorder.
  • Caretaker training.
  • Home training.

Center for Auditory habilitation:

This is first and one of the best Center for re/habilitating children and adults with Cochlear Implant in India. This unique center was established in 2000, since then this had been the referral and training center for many teachers across the globe. Very active center with annual patient load of 150 and total number of therapy session per year around 14,500. The quality control of the center is monitored by experts from USA and Europe.

Auditory habilitation refers to the plan to improve the communication with younger children who have not yet attained spoken language following hearing loss. Rehabilitation focuses on restoring a skill of listening which was not acquired due to hearing loss. In children the skills may not be there so it has to be taught, hence it is called habilitation.

Habilitation includes:

  • Finding a way for your child to communicate
  • Learning Speech and language
  • Learning to listen to different sounds
  • Training on how to take care of hearing aids and other amplification devices

The goal of auditory rehabilitation clinic at MERF– ISH is not only to focus on child rehabilitation but also rehabilitation for adolescents and adults both prelingual and post lingual.

The services are provided by specially trained and skilled auditory habiltationist who are trained under different domains to treat children, adolescents and adults and those children with complex needs who have undergone implantation.

MERF ISH is the first center to establish satellite auditory habilitation center in India to cater to children across the state of Tamil Nadu. MERF ISH & MERF has developed a sustainable and successful model of re/habilitation for the developing nations; this model is well appreciated by experts all over the world and attracted invitation to present in many international meetings, forums and recently in WHO. Satellite centers across Tamil Nadu are located in Coimbatore, Tiruchirapally, Madurai and also Tirunelveli, which also have experienced habilitationist’s who provide firsthand habilitation service.

All the clients are assessed by a speech-language pathologist and auditory habilitationist in one to one sessions and all consultation are done on appointment basis.