November 17, 2021
Pros and Cons of Cochlear Implants
Hearing loss can happen gradually or suddenly and result in not only emotional issues but physical health problems as well.
You have of course heard of hearing aids, as they are a common and popular solution to hearing loss, but you may be less familiar with a cochlear implant.
Warren Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing has a look at the differences between the two and the pros and cons of whether a cochlear implant might be right for a situation involving you or a loved one.
Hearing Aid vs. Cochlear Implant
The main difference between a hearing aid and cochlear implant is that hearing aid is used to boost sound signals, whereas a cochlear implant is used when the ear is too damaged to receive information through sound.
Hearing aids just amplify sounds that people can hear by making them louder so they are able to actually hear them. Cochlear implants bypass the damaged inner ear and send the information directly to the brain.
Pros of Cochlear Implants
When hearing aids are no longer a viable solution, cochlear implants can restore quality of life to those with hearing loss. They are able to better understand conversations and avoid social-isolation issues that many who have trouble hearing deal with.
Many people also say that cochlear implants are better than hearing aids when it comes to being in noisy environments.
Surgery is required, but side effects are often mild and involve temporary inflammation, bleeding, and irritation in the ear.
Cons of Cochlear Implants
Cochlear implants are a more expensive option than hearing aids, and given that it works on interpreting sounds that your ear isn’t registering, there are no guarantees that it will improve your hearing, even though most people report some improvement. They cannot fully restore your hearing.
They are also expensive and require regular maintenance, but most imsurance plans cover the installation and maintenance.
Finally, they are visible medical devices that are about the size of a large hearing aid, while hearing aids these days are generally more subtle. Of course when it comes to improving your hearing, the benefits typically outweigh the drawbacks, but these are concerns that people have spelled out.