The more you understand your body and how it functions, the better equipped you'll be at taking care of yourself to achieve optimal health.  On the left side of our Web site you'll find a tab called Learn More. Click there to find a wide variety of  valuable, practical wellness information.  We hope you can incorporate this informantion into your lifestyle to improve the quality of your life.  Turn to these pages whenever you have a question about ear, nose and throat health related issues.  We urge you to contact our practice at any time to make an appointment with one of our otolaryngology physicians or audiologists.

If you have questions about hearing or balance problems, or regarding hearing instruments such as hearing aids, assistive listening devices or hearing protection, please see the Bloomfield Hearing portion in our Web site.  Click the Bloomfield Hearing tab at the top of our Home page.  You will find a list of hearing and balance related topics there.  Our audiologists will be happy to answer your questions about communication, hearing and balance at your next audiology appointment.  Consultations with our audiologists are available free of charge to discuss your options for amplification and assistive listening technology.  You can also discuss coping strategies for living with hearing and balance disorders.

Click on Our Blog at the lower left side of the Web site to find new information about hearing, balance, communication, amplification, and other news related to ear, nose and throat health.  We will be updating the Blog every month, so please revisit our site to see what's new!

What you should know

  • The CDC and FDA, in partnership with state health departments, have recently completed an investigation that found children with cochlear implants have a higher chance of getting bacterial meningitis than children without cochlear implants. Some children who are candidates for cochlear implants may have factors that increase their risk of meningitis even before they get a cochlear implant. However, this investigation was not designed to determine the risk of meningitis in children who are candidates for cochlear implants but don't have them.
  • Because people with cochlear implants are at increased risk for meningitis, CDC recommends that people with cochlear implants follow recommendations for pneumococcal vaccinations that apply to members of other groups at increased risk. Recommendations for the timing and type of pneumococcal vaccination vary with age and vaccination history and should be discussed with a health care provider.
  • Recommendations for people with cochlear implants aged two years and older include the following:

- Children who have cochlear implants, are aged 2 years and older, and have completed the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (Prevnar ®) series should receive one dose of the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (Pneumovax ® 23). If they have just received pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, they should wait at least two months before receiving pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine.

- Children who have cochlear implants are between 24 and 59 months of age, and have never received either pneumococcal conjugate vaccine or pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine should receive two doses of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine two or more months apart and then receive one dose of pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine at least two months later.

- Persons who are aged 5 years and older with cochlear implants should receive one dose of pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine.

Additional facts

• Worldwide, there are over 90 known reports of people getting meningitis after getting a cochlear implant. This is out of approximately 60,000 people who have cochlear implants.

• Meningitis is an infection. The infection is in the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. There are two main types of meningitis, viral and bacterial. Bacterial meningitis is the most serious type. It is the type that has been reported in people with cochlear implants. Depending on the cause of the meningitis, the symptoms, treatment, and outcomes differ.

  • Bacterial meningitis can be caused by several different kinds of bacteria. Four vaccines protect against most of these bacteria. The vaccines are:

- 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate (Prevnar®) (PCV-7)

- 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide (Pneumovax® 23) (PPV-23)

- Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate (Hib)

- Quadrivalent A,C,Y,W-135 meningococcal polysaccharide (Menomune®).

Meningitis in people with cochlear implants is most commonly caused by the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus). Children with cochlear implants are more likely to get pneumococcal meningitis than children without cochlear implants. None of the children in the investigation had meningococcal meningitis caused by Neisseria meningitidis. There is no evidence that children with cochlear implants are more likely to get meningococcal meningitis than children without cochlear implants.