What Is a Cochlear Implant?
A cochlear implant is a little, complicated electric device. That can help to provide a sense of sound to a person who is deaf or hard-of-hearing. The implant consists of an external part that sits behind the ear and a second part that placed under the skin.
A cochlear implant is a little computerized therapeutic device. That improves moderate to severe hearing loss. It’s used to help hearing loss in adults, children, and babies.
The device works by stimulating the cochlear nerve. It has external and inner components. The external component placed behind the ear. It consists of a microphone, which receives sound waves. A speech processor analyzes the sounds and turns them into digital signals.
These signals sent to a transmitter, which forwards them to the internal receiver. The transmitter and receiver held together by a magnet. The internal part implanted beneath the skin, behind the ear. When the receiver gets the digital signals, it turns them into electrical impulses.
These impulses sent to electrodes in the cochlea, which stimulates the cochlear nerve. The nerve forwards them to the brain. The result is a sense of hearing.
Though the brain will notice the sounds, they’re not the same as normal hearing. Speech therapy and rehabilitation are necessary to learn how to interpret these sounds.
Without insurance, a cochlear implant can cost between $30,000 and $50,000 on average. The cost is according to Boys Town National Research Hospital.
Most insurance providers cover cochlear implants or a part of them. The device is also protected by Medicare, Medicaid, and Veterans Affairs. Over time, you’ll likely need to replace parts like microphones and magnets. You may also need repairs. Some insurance plans cover these costs.
You’ll want to talk to your insurance provider to find out exactly what’s also covered, whether you’ll have any out-of-pocket expenses.
How Is It Different from a Hearing Aid?
A hearing aid is also a medical device for hearing loss. But unlike a cochlear implant, it doesn’t send sound signals via electrodes. Instead, hearing aids practice a microphone, megaphone, and speaker to produce sounds louder. This can help you hear things better.
Also, hearing aids aren’t implanted. They’re worn inside or behind the ear. Hearing aids are ideal if you have mild to moderate hearing loss. The device’s level of amplification depends on your degree of hearing loss.
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Certain hearing aids may help severe hearing loss. But, sometimes they still won’t benefit speech understanding. In this case, a cochlear implant might be the better choice.
Pros and Cons of Cochlear Implant
Cochlear implant pros and cons are essential to examine. It necessary while weighing hearing amplification options for your child. There are many merits and demerits of a cochlear implant. A few of them mentioned below:
Pros of Cochlear Implant
In general, the improvement in auditory perception following cochlear implantation. It varies from user to user and can range from speech perception to music enjoyment.
Cochlear implants can improve hearing and speech perception for your child. People with cochlear implants may still use lip-reading. Additionally, sign language to enhance speech perception and communication.
Cochlear implants help improve the clarity of the child’s speech. Also, future development of listening and spoken language skills. Parents can take several steps to maximize outcomes for children with cochlear implants.
Future Learning and Career Opportunities
Children with cochlear implants can hear better in the classroom, usually, with the help of assistive technology. CI’s may also benefit children as they age and open doors to new career opportunities.
One of the most notable benefits of a cochlear implant is the ability to hear potential dangers. Or, alerts such as sirens and other important sounds.
Cons of Cochlear Implant
Cochlear implant surgery is exceptionally trustworthy. However, any operation has risks factors involved. Problems can include bleeding, infections, and side effects of anaesthesia.
As with any surgical procedure, there are risks and limitations. These limitations associated with cochlear implant surgery.
Many insurance companies will cover or assist with the cost of a cochlear implant. If you do not have insurance, or if your plan does not cover the procedure, it may have cost-prohibitive.
Children will still need support hearing and communication in background noise. Assistive devices can help to hear in places with lots of background noise (classroom, car, zoo, etc.)
Cochlear implants need ongoing support and maintenance. This can include battery changes, wiring fixes, or re-mapping of the device.
Outcomes and Hearing Levels Differ for Everyone
The benefit of a cochlear implant isn’t immediate, and children will have varied performance. Early intervention programs help improve the outcomes for children with cochlear implant devices.
Children with cochlear implants can take part in all everyday childhood activities. Precautions recommended protecting the device from damage. Such as wearing a helmet while bicycling, or removing the device while swimming.
Hence, unilateral cochlear implantation has been an effective method. The ways which are the best for improving speech perception and health-related quality. The quality of life in adults with severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss.
Bilateral cochlear implantation gives continued advancements in speech perception results in noisy surroundings. Also, over unilateral cochlear implantation. Bilateral cochlear implants show significant binaural head-shadow benefits.
The small benefits in binaural summation, binaural squelch effects, and better sound localization. However, the size of the benefits in noise appears modest. They translate to significant and important differences, as reported by patients.
Additionally, none of the studies has been able to quantify the sensations. The patients of the fusion of bilateral sound into a stereo perception within one’s head. There is a need to develop better measures of performance. Also, disease-specific quality-of-life instruments that may reflect the significance of these personal benefits.
Further studies with longer follow-up duration need to assess the extra benefits. That improved health-related quality-of-life and potential risks. Such as bilateral cochlear implantation compared with unilateral implantation.